My boy reading his Bible all on his own. Actually, when I tell them to get books to read he usually runs to get his Bible. Now I'm not going to brag (too much!) but the one child that rocked our world to the core is also the child that amazes us with his knowledge of bible stories, all the scriptures he knows and the fact he "gets" the truth that God loves him no matter what! Hello! I'm 38 years old and STILL struggle with "getting" how much God loves me. All this to say, no wonder satan has fought so hard to keep this boy down, to ruin our lives, to want to cause us to give up on Connor. BUT GOD! We have quoted Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalms 139 over this boy for years. He especially loves the verse from Psalms 139
"how precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake I am still with you." Psalms 139:17-18
The first time I read this to him he cried. Not just itty bitty tears. No, deep sobs. He just couldn't get over the fact that God loved him more than all the grains of sand at the beach! He loves the beach and he knows there are a LOT of sand grains at the beach. I believe these verses impacted him because he finally understood that someone cared...deeply...for him, and about him and this person (God) would never EVER leave him.
When he has had a hard day or hard moments and is disciplined he often says, "but mom, no matter what you and dad and God still love me. No matter what bad things I do you will always love me, right mom?" Do you hear that little boy heart crying out "please, please love me. Please, please don't leave me. Everyone else has, will you?" Friends, I am not going to lie. During that amazingly hard year and a half I wanted to. I really wanted to send him away so that my life could be easier. At that time I really wasn't thinking about him. I was just thinking about my pain, my hurt, my frustration, my poor family having to endure his antics and their mom being so consumed and overwhelmed with nothing left to give them. Don't hate me. I'm just being completely honest here. Oh and yea, don't judge me either. Until you've journeyed down this path you have no right to condemn or criticize.
During that time of strain and heartache God filled in the gaps. He is so faithful to always do that! When I wasn't being the mommy Connor needed (or wanted!) God was there. When I had a hard time even liking this child a teeny, tiny bit God loved him. When I couldn't see hope or future, God did. In fact, He was already calling it out in Connor, in me, in our family. As I stumbled on this path again and again God was there to pick me up and strengthen me to go on for another step. God sent an amazing woman into our lives that has guided, encouraged, loved, corrected and taught me how to sift through the lies, the pain, the fears and find the gold. Connor was/is that gold! As I've stated before, Connor has pushed me closer to the heart of God and my need for Him than ever before. Without God, I would not be here....really...it was THAT bad. I've learned that my strength alone comes from God. My love alone comes from God. My peace,joy, happiness, etc., only comes from God. I can't manufacture it myself. Believe me, I've tried! When I got ahold of that my perspective started shifting. It didn't make life easier but it did make it worth living again. God had my back. He didn't bring Connor to us to punish me (what I believed for a long time) but to transform me. Without Connor all those doubts, fears, lies, beliefs, questions, and anger would still be buried inside of me. But because of Connor I had to seek God, I had to dig deep inside of myself and figure out why these things kept surfacing in me. Trust me, it was ugly. I couldn't believe who I had become. But God! It isn't until we see these things in ourselves that we can begin uprooting them and dealing with them one at a time. I'm still working on cleaning out the yuck but I've come so far...praise God!! When I became more peaceful Connor (and the rest of the family) did too. When I began to see past his "issues" and into his heart I was able to extend grace, mercy and love. It's very hard to remember (in the heat of the moment) that this little boy isn't to blame for his "issues". He is a product of the environment he was raised in, the situations he lived through, the fears that manifested themselves in his little heart. When I take a moment and step back, I see a remarkable mechanically inclined little boy that has a joy of life in him in spite of his past and my heart swells with love. It is in those moments when I repent yet again for my selfishness and the additional pain I added to his already pain-filled life. Then I rejoice that I serve a God who not only forgives but forgets. A God who has given me a second chance. A second chance to get to know this precocious little boy for who he really is underneath all his "issues". A second chance to love him, truly love him, as his father God has all this time.
This little boy has taught me so much about myself, so much about courage, so much about love and I couldn't be more thankful.
Father God I never would have believed that I would thank You for the pain of the last few years but I know that it all worked together for my good and my growth to be the woman You created me to be. Thank you for choosing me to be Connor's mommy. I can honestly say today that he is a precious treasure in my life and I love him more than the air I breathe. Thank You for not allowing me to stay who I was. Thank you for challenging me and all I believed so that I could see the TRUTH of who You are and what I mean to you. As I tuck my boy in to bed tonight may I remind him yet again that he is my son forever and that not only will You never leave him but neither will his daddy or I. In Jesus' name, Amen.