In light of being real I want to take this opportunity to share with you the biggest lesson I am learning right now. I haven't mastered it, I am in the midst of learning it. It's a game changer for me. I think it will be life changing. Do you know what it is? I'm learning to pray for my child.
Was that anti-climatic? Were you expecting something more exciting? I am learning to pray as long as it takes prayers for Sully. And I am really, really excited about it. I am also learning the power of speaking truth into his little being. I know he can't understand it now, but some day he will and he will grow up being bathed in truth the way I wasn't.
As I've shared in many a post before my life as a kid wasn't easy. It held lots of loss, rejection, fear and insecurity. There were some really dark moments. There were dark moments of depression but also dark moments that were circumstantial, like the night before kindergarten when my mom took me shopping for new sneakers and a new back pack. Most moms would drive their child to the store and then maybe on the way home stop at Dairy Queen for an ice cream cone. Not my mama. She took me to the store and then we stopped in the hood so she could score some drugs. She left the car running with me in it as she stood on the curb making the deal. That's when a young man jumped in the car, stared in my face and grabbed my mom's purse that was sitting right next to me. I thought in that split second he was going to take me.
I can look back on my life and see God's hand all over it way before I ever knew who He was or that He loved me. I want to share the "aha" moment I had a few weeks ago. My mother and father-in-law have always told me they prayed for me ever since Ryan was a baby. They continually prayed for whoever Ryan would marry. Do you know the grace and the truth that washed over me one night not too long ago? In the darkest, scariest, loneliest moments of my life, they were praying for me. They didn't know that the girl Ryan would marry was at some point a little girl from a broken home who desperately needed prayer. They didn't know that she had hurts and baggage and scars too heavy to carry and too deep to fix. They just knew that they wanted to pray for the girl their son would someday fall in love with.
They prayed for me. It's a gift that means EVERYTHING to me. It's a gift that will forever grasp my heart and bring tears to my eyes. It's a gift I can never repay them for (although they might say that another grandchild wouldn't hurt). :)
That's what I want for Sullivan. I want to give him the gift of praying for him and praying for the girl he'll someday marry. She might not even be born yet, but I'm praying for her every day. And I want to speak truth into his life. Truth that he is a mighty warrior, a leader, respectful, kind and compassionate. I pray for him to love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength and to love others just like Jesus did. I pray for him to have godly adventures and to take risks and not live in fear, just like the men of faith who have walked before him did, like David and Joshua. I am praying for him to follow Christ even when it's not easy and to stick up for others when it's the right thing to do. I am praying for him to be respectful and to have a teachable spirit, to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. I am praying for him that he will care more about people and helping them than he will about making more money or attaining more stuff. I will speak the truth that he is loved first and foremost by God and then by his parents. I whisper over him, even now, that he is fearfully and wonderfully made as it says in Psalm 139 and that God is always good.
I didn't grow up knowing or believing those truths. But I did grow up with someone praying for me. And I believe because of that I know and believe these truths now. Take some time today to pray for your kids. It's one of the best ways to say, "I love you."