(At your 5th grade graduation at church-you are officially part of j-high!)
Oh Caleb Paul. It is absolutely no fun for both your mom and dad to be away on your birthday. It is hard to hear news that you didn't want or expect when mom and dad are far away.
This is not how we had planned for your birthday to go. But if I am honest....this year hasn't exactly gone how we planned. This year has been more challenging than most for us. BUT. I do believe that there has been more growth and more maturity because of it.
You are a remarkable young man Caleb Paul. You lovingly and faithfully serve our family day in and day out. You often end up with the worst jobs. You are a strong and steadfast presence in our home. You love God's Word and faithfully study it every morning. You challenge and inspire us all by the way you faithfully trust God.
So this birthday....I hope you see two things from watching mommy and daddy in this time of unexpected challenges:
1. It is okay to be sad. There are times where this life is sad and hard and broken. We don't ever expect you to ignore it and slap a smile on it. It is right to be honest about the sadness that we feel-and we are not disappointed or upset with you when things are sad and hard (neither is our great God).
2. God is still worthy of our praise and our trust. The brokenness of this life only reminds us that we were made for another life. The sadness reminds us that this life that is passing away can't satisfy our hearts because our hearts were made for eternity. It is while we were still sad, and broken, and even while we were still adding to the brokenness with our own sin....it was then that God looked down and sent a Rescuer. And there was only One who could mend what was broken. His name is Jesus. All power and glory and honor belong to Him because He is the only one who could fix and restore what was broken. He was the only one who could lift our eyes and remind us that we were made for eternity...and that eternity with our Father is ours when we hide ourselves in Christ.
So, while it breaks my heart to not be there with you today, on your birthday...
I can only bear it because I know that nothing can separate you from the love of God. His love for you is so fierce, that I'm trusting it to greet you with the morning sunrise and birds chirping. I'm trusting Him to comfort you when you're missing mommy and daddy or when things are hard.
You are a treasure and an absolute delight to have in our home. I cannot believe that God would entrust such a priceless gift to your daddy and I, but if He did then surely he sees you and will take great care to comfort you and be near to you until I can be right with you once again.
I love you Caleb.
Mommy (and Daddy)