Life is so funny, isn’t it? I mean, it goes by so fast! I can’t believe summer is almost over and I just celebrated my 52nd birthday...I can’t believe Darren and I are about to celebrate 32 years of marriage😊...I can’t believe our oldest son is turning 28....what?!?! When did this happen? How does life go by so fast? How?!?
Will, sweet William - my pet name for him when he was little - is about to celebrate his birthday, and I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you another story or two about our sweet kiddos, how precious God is, how amazing it is that God entrusts us with such an amazing gift and task of parenting. I’m here to tell you that it is a gift we did not deserve - I guess no human deserves - but none the less a gift given, and we are thankful, grateful, filled to an overflowing...
From the very beginning, from that first moment of knowing, experiencing that first flutter, William forever changed our lives. I have often been disturbed by Paul’s words in second Timothy about women being saved through childbirth. I am by no means a scholar, and furthermore, I am not trying to imply this is what he meant, but for me and Darren, the conception and birth of Will changed the trajectory of our lives and prayers and petitions of precious parents were answered. I’ve often shared with my Sunday school girls and Bible study partners that I feel like God puts/allows things to happen in our lives that can change the direction our lives are going - think bumper cars. Just a year and a half before Will’s birth, my and Darren’s marriage was in a very dark place, but we, by the grace of God, decided to try to put the pieces back together...another unmerited gift. When we decided to try to have a baby, huge progress and healing had already occurred, but while carrying Will in my tummy, his birth, the birth of our two other sons and ever since...to this very day, God reveals himself to me, teaches me “what great love the Father has for us” through the act and gift of parenting...Every day Darren and I give God glory for all He has done for us and all He has given us and all He is doing and going to do. We stand in awe of His work in and through our lives.
William means resolute protector. He is named after two of the most important men in my life - my daddy and my husband. When he was little, he would correct people when they called him Will, “My name is Willmam,” he would say. I’m not sure where he found and when he lost that extra “m” but I can still here his sweet soft voice being ever so polite and serious...resolute. I remember one comment in particular, “that’s a big name for such a little guy.”
For most new friends and acquaintances, they find it difficult to believe how unbelievably shy he was as a child. He was the very typical, all boy when he was surrounded by “his people,” but in new situations with new people, he had a permanent place behind me with both arms wrapped around my leg, big blue eyes peeking around...those beautiful blue eyes. Darren’s sweet momma and I were talking one day while I was still pregnant with him, wondering what he/she would look like - we didn’t find out until we had him. I tell myself that I think I knew all along he was a boy, or was it that I so desperately wanted him to be a boy - who can remember? She told me that our children would not have my blue eyes because Darren had brown eyes. Years later we laughed at the fact that we not only had one, but two blue eyed boys and it was quite possibly done so just to prove her wrong...lol!
There are so many “Will” stories floating through my head right now...a million little things...stories of a quiet little boy choosing the hard path of kindness and gentleness even when it wasn’t cool...Will’s “But do they have kindness” story that I shared in an earlier post...stories of him battling fear that gripped him and God giving him a vivid dream that forever changed his life...I recall a young Will, not a boy but not quite a man, standing on the staircase desperately pleading his case for withholding a part of himself from God because he craved adventure. Somehow God and adventure didn’t cross paths in his mind. “Have you read your Bible,” I believe I asked him. “Surrender fully and I assure you that it will be the greatest adventure you could ever ask for.” The kiddo has been all over the globe-places I can’t even openly talk about. I remember when he was just a freshman, having such a burden to share Jesus with his football teammates and years later being across the globe myself hearing from one of those teammates about the sweet godly influence Will had on him. I’ve shared with you in an earlier post about another football teammate who came to know Jesus through Will’s quiet leadership.
You know sometimes as parents, we grow weary and second guess ourselves...I know we are not the only ones! I will never forget a youth minister from another church who had taken note of Will through his leadership in FCA, stopping by to share a word of encouragement. Timely encouragement that we needed, but only God knew. He remarked about Will’s gift of quiet leadership and leading from behind. The ability to lead quietly, to lead people even when they don’t realize they are being led...now that’s a gift indeed.
Of all the sweet stories I could share on Will’s special day, I think my favorite is of him becoming a father. People told me how amazing it is to be a grandparent, but what they didn’t tell me was how unbelievably precious it is to watch your children becoming parents...and doing it well...Will’s quiet and gentle leadership being used to lead his family, lead sweet Eden...the sweet gift of grand-parenting😊 I see Will living up to his name as parent and husband...resolute...protector, gently leading his family, patiently teaching Eden what it is to love God and love others...a million little things that make an eternal difference...that’s a sweet gift indeed.
Happy Birthday sweet Will😊 I love you dearly💗💗💗
I am a simple and ordinary girl who loves to share meaningful stories about the extraordinary people and blessings, the sweet everyday happenings that make me smile. I hope you all have a beautiful day!