When our oldest son was small, about two or three years old, he used to sit in the cart, while I shopped, and he’d sing “Amazing Grace”. He caught the attention of more than a few people, as you can imagine. He’d also say, “I’m going to be a preacher.”
When he was seven, our son asked to be baptized. At first, we weren’t sure he was old enough to fully understand the significance, but after talking with him, we decided he was, so Ed and I agreed to let him be baptized. He also memorized The Lord’s Prayer, on his own, and would sometimes pray it , when called on [to pray] during church services.
The years quickly passed quickly, and before we knew it, our son had grown into a somewhat rebellious young man. His years from age sixteen until twenty-one were simply awful for us, as parents. Nothing we said or did seemed to matter. Our son did what he wanted to do, no matter what the consequences. He and I constantly fought, and, at one point, I told him he’d have to leave our house. It was an all-time low point, and I felt as if I’d failed as a parent. I certainly didn’t see it at the time, but in looking back, God surely had His hand upon our son, even in those darkest of days. If not, his life would have turned out very different.
In 2002, Ed’s mom agreed to let our son come and live with her, following the death of Ed’s dad. By then, our son was already twenty, with no real sense of direction for what he wanted to do with his life. He’d dropped out of college, and wouldn’t keep a job. He stayed up nights, and slept his days away. In essence, he was driving me crazy! Ed’s mom gave her grandson a roof over his head, food to eat, some gentle guidance, and a lot of encouragement. In return, he gave her some companionship and someone to fuss over.
Things with our son didn’t change overnight, but they did eventually change, praise the Lord. Our son finally decided he needed to do something with his life, and he did. He went back to school, and excelled at becoming a computer specialist. God blessed him to have a caring teacher who saw something special in our son, and later helped him get a good job, after graduation.
God blessed our son, again, at his new job, when he met the woman who would eventually become his wife and the mother of his two sons. Their marriage turned out to be a journey of its own.
Sometimes, marriage can be hard, especially if both parties are not quite mature when they marry. There was trouble from the beginning, and some things happened. For a while, it looked like the marriage was going to end in divorce, but, once again, God intervened and caused a change of hearts. With God’s help, over time, what seemed like the impossible eventually became very possible. Not only possible–but a stronger and better than ever, marriage resulted.
Over the past several years, through the grace of God, our son has done a lot of maturing and changing. We’ve watched him grow from a shy, immature, self-centered person into a loving husband, father, and provider, who is now a bold, mature, selfless young man, who is “on fire” for the Lord. He will gladly share the gospel with anyone who will listen. His metamorphosis has really been something to see.
Our son began his journey, to share the gospel, by giving out tracts in a local shopping center parking lot, one afternoon of each week, after he’d worked all day. He wrote and had the cards printed himself. Oh, the stories he can tell about some experiences he’s had in that parking lot! Some will bring tears to your eyes. He’s also walked in parades, giving out tracts.
Before long, our son began visiting a local assisted living home, to bring a gospel message to the residents, on Sunday afternoons. The residents now look forward to each of his visits very much, and they, in turn, have been such a blessing to our son.
For a while, our son spent a great deal of time praying, researching, and visiting area churches, in an effort to find his rightful place to best serve God. He found his new church, several months ago, and was welcomed with open arms, by a congregation of mostly elderly folks, who have taken him under their wings.
For a while, our son has been asking Ed and me to come and visit his new church. We left our previous church, a long while back, and haven’t attended church since. Ed and I finally gave in and went to visit our son’s new church, this past Sunday. I can’t begin to tell you what a blessing we received by doing so! I’ve never met a more kind and welcoming group of folks, who seem to love our son as much as we do.
When we arrived at the church, as you can imagine, we were a bit hesitant about going in. As we walked up the sidewalk, we looked up to the porch of the church, and there stood our son, waiting to greet the people who were arriving. What a welcome sight that was! After many introductions, and hearing a lot of “We’re so glad you came”, Ed and I took a bulletin and sat down on a pew.
I can’t begin to tell you how overcome with emotion I became when I opened the bulletin and began to read. There, on the bottom of the page of that bulletin, was our son’s name, listed to bring the Sunday evening message! He’d never said a word to us about any of this. Of course, neither hell nor high water was going to keep us from hearing our son deliver that evening message, so Ed and I went back for the evening service, too.
Oh, what a blessing it was to my weary soul–to see how far our son has traveled in his journey, so far. From the sweet little toddler, singing Amazing Grace…to the seven-year-old who knew he needed to be baptized…to the wayward young teenager who nearly drove his family crazy…to the young man who married, then came within a hair of becoming a divorced, single dad…to this man who was delivering the words of God from the pulpit of a church. And deliver a message, he did, from the bottom of his heart, for almost an hour, when it seemed like only ten minutes!
Only God knows where our son’s journey will continue to take him, or how his journey will end. I just know, so far, he’s already covered a lot of ground, and this mom is so proud and happy for him! May God continue to bless and keep you, Brett. Can I get an amen?