Yes, most of the posts on this blog – in the section marked “life” – are about this ChristStumbler. The stories are about things I’m being taught as I walk this clumsy road somewhere between gravity and eternity. And I guess in a way this post is about me, because I’ve learned so very much in the past 29 years. From you.
“You are the luckiest boy in the world, because God is going to handpick the perfect one for you…”
We sat in the backyard and splashed in your wading pool and talked about a name change. Your biological father was relinquishing parental rights, but that was too difficult to comprehend, much less explain. Instead, we talked about how much fun it would be to get a brand new name. We laughed at my silly middle name – LaVerne. “Most kids are stuck with the name they’re born with, but you get to pick your very own.” Your last name would become my maiden name, and you would get a new middle name too – one that you would select all by your four year-old self. You chose Michael because he was a big tough angel guy. And we talked about how one day your name would change again – when God handpicked a dad just for you.
Not once did you complain about it being just the two of us. You even reminded me that God was our dad so we didn’t have to be afraid. Others questioned what was taking so long. But you remained faithful in the waiting. You pressed in. You pressed on. You gave thanks in the journey. And 10 years later, your name changed. You were adopted by a dad. The perfect one for you.
We sat in your apartment as you talked about your love for a woman unlike any other. You wanted to marry her, and she wanted the same. You wanted to love her well and care for her fully. Engagements were happening all around you, and others questioned what was taking so long. But you remained faithful in the waiting. You pressed in. You pressed on. You gave thanks in the journey. And 3 years later, you married that woman. The perfect one for you.
We sat at a restaurant as you and your bride talked about moving to Austin, Texas. You knew you were supposed to minister to students, and you knew the church you felt was home. Your desire was to be a pastor. You were willing to take a support role in order to care for the teenagers who had captured your heart. Different leaders were selected to the role you felt called to – yet you remained diligent and graceful. Others wondered what was taking so long. Others wondered what it would take for you to accept a position somewhere else. “Another season,” was your quiet response. You remained faithful. You pressed in. You pressed on. You gave thanks in the journey.
And 5 years later, you are pastoring students at that Austin church. The perfect one for you.
A trusted mentor has likened you to David. A man handpicked by God to be king. A man who pressed in and pressed on as he waited 13 years to wear the crown. A man who remained faithful as others questioned what was taking so long. Perhaps he’s right. For it was David who wrote,
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. ~Psalm 23
Thank you for being faithful – for pressing in and pressing on. Yes, it is good to give thanks in the journey – to the Perfect One. Thanks for teaching me.
I love you.