Dear Caleb Paul,
There are so many stories these days of young men who go off on an adventure, and discover that they have amazing giftings or powers inside them. It is the super heroes who look around them and see that things are not always as they should be....and they rise up to meet the challenge of pushing back the darkness and fighting for the light.
But in order for a hero to rise up and find the strength to face darkness....he has to somehow be made aware of the darkness.
This year brought some really difficult moments. Well--you know that because you were the child who had both mom and dad gone on your birthday last year. So many other kids would have allowed bitterness to grow in their hearts. It has been difficult, having your mom (who formerly never went anywhere!), now flying across the country every 4-6 weeks, gone for a few days. Some would have allowed this to make them angry because they didn't understand why their baby brother had to get cancer. And then, there was the dear man in our neighborhood who had a crazy-brilliant mind like yours. You two had lots of fun together, and dad was so surprised by the spot welder you made together (with help from your brother Noah). So, it could have been so discouraging to have finally found someone who understood you so well.....and then to have him pass from this life into the next one.
Yes, this year has brought its share of difficulty. But what has been so amazing for this momma-heart to watch....is that instead of bitterness, anger, and discouragement....you have allowed the grace of God to rise up within you. This year, more than ever, you have discovered the power within you--the Holy Spirit of God which brings comfort when you're sad, when you're lonely, and when things didn't go how you wanted them to go. You're finding the grace of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross to be sufficient to cover your mistakes, and the mistakes of others.
When I asked you what this last year had taught you, you told me that you learned to trust God more. You said that with everything that happened with Elijah, with his cancer and treatments and going across the country, you learned about how God can bring good out of the most difficult circumstances. You learned to trust God, even when someone you loved greatly left this life, because the life he gained eternally in the presence of Jesus had become more real to you this year.
Caleb Paul. I have not met a young man so faithful, disciplined, and diligent as you. You are amazingly gifted, and if you are not naturally talented at what you put your hands to, you will persevere and endure and practice over and over again until you master it. I am constantly humbled and amazed by your super hero power.....and I recognize it as the power of God at work in you. You have a super hero power inside you. It is a gift, given by God for the joy of the world and the building of His Kingdom.
And while many times, my heart ached over the hardships this last year brought, I am so, so thankful for the Light we have seen more clearly. I am honored to serve a Great King beside you. I love being your mom. May you continue to rise up along with the grace of God, to find strength to meet whatever is ahead for you, and may you never stop learning to trust God more. No gift I could give you is as great as the one the Father in heaven has given you-the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to be your Comforter and Teacher. May you experience these gifts to greater degrees as you rise up to push back the darkness. May you know the great love the Father has for you. You are not a warrior who fights only out of duty, but a warrior who is greatly loved and valued. May you grow deeper in your love for God's Word-may it come alive to you as you read it, and may you be transformed by it as you understand its wisdom and beauty. May you grow in your communication with the Lord, and may you begin to truly see how much of the battle is won by getting on your knees. And when you rise, and when you fall, may you always, always find the grace of God to meet you in that place, and carry you on to greater things.
I cannot fathom the wonderful adventures that await you. I love you. Happy birthday. I pray that God's blessings would overwhelm you with love and joy today. And I'm so glad Daddy and I get to be with you on your birthday this year. :)