Today, you are nine. Early this morning, I crept into your room and quietly watched your chest rise and fall and silently wept in humility that God has graced me with you as my son.
Every day I fail you, and your tender heart is so fragile with want to please. Sometimes I succeed in using my catastrophes to walk you to the one who will never fail you, to your perfect parent. Sometimes, you must walk me there.
You are your earthly father. Your looks and humor, your build and talents - it duplicates all he is, and he is my hero. You battle to show vulnerability as he does, and you refuse to admit you are wrong.
Your heart belongs to Christ alone, and we strive to come alongside of you as you grow in this realization. Yet, so often, you set your offering to Him as a grasp for perfection, as we all do. Baby, it's in your sorrow, your poorness of heart that He whispers to you. Cling to that.
You will never be perfect, and there is no perfect plan, because He will change it. But, as I've looked deeply into your eyes so many times and told you, you can go and be anything He has called and created you to be, to whomever and wherever He calls you to be His hands and His feet.
Few people have the opportunity to discover this truth in their own home, yet you have taken it in stride.
You have wailed with grief when they leave. You have written notes, they will never see. You have been the first to hold them, even before their own parents at times. You have forgiven, when it seems impossible to forgive. You have cheered, when it seems ridiculous to cheer.
You have been real. I want that more than anything in a son, and you have been that for me. You have screamed when you have wanted all this to go away, and you have knelt beside me at my bed to give it back to God once again. You have prayed for mothers and fathers whose sins are so grave, I can't explain them to you, and you have trusted us as we have trusted our - your - Savior.
You have drawn maps to help me figure out how to fit more beds, and you have denied your own material desires to give to those who enter our home with nothing.
Daddy has said often that this isn't our calling, but our family's. You have embraced it alongside of us, even when it has broken our souls. He knit us together as unit before the foundation of time, for His kingdom to be grown through us, in a way that only we can be a part of.
I am so honored to be your mother, your teacher, your sister in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Happy birthday, Son. You make me long to drink more deeply of Jesus, and there is no higher gift you could give me.
I love you to the moon,