9 years ago today, our dear Isaiah came into our lives and changed us forever.
Although we'd picked out his name way before he was born --a la Isaiah 49:1b, I would dare say--
we lovingly referred to him as 909 for the first few days after he was born because his birth date matched the number on my dad's steam train engine, the 909.
Now, in hindsight, it seems wrong to have given him a number like that. How impersonal, right? Yet, in many ways, it was fitting. Why? Well, for one...he turned out to be quite the number guy.
Okay, that was weak. True, yes, but weak. I promise I can do better than that.
I believe it was fitting to refer to him as 909 because there are probably 909 ways God has used Isaiah to sanctify us, to help us see how small we are and how big He is, to praise Him for the way He has helped us parent him, and to simply marvel at His handiwork--Psalm 139.
Yes, I say it's fitting because there are at least 100 such lessons we've learned for every year of Isaiah's life...and now that he's 9, it's finally time for the 'reaping'. 909, the count is up, pretty much....so to speak. You've been turned on the turntable, 909. Your fire's been stoked...and you're on your own track. Let it rip!
What am I saying? Basically, here's what I'm trying to say: the past 9 years have been mostly about what God is doing in us and through us as parents. But I'd say in the last month or so, the scale has tipped in a major way. God is most evidently at work in Isaiah's life, and though it is a huge encouragement to us, it really isn't about us. It's about Isaiah and his growth in the Lord.
Sure, he prayed 'the prayer' when he was 4, but the wheels are really turning now. God has been fanning the flame so that his faith is really taking off.
His recent peek into his own heart has made him realize his need for the cross.
He's no longer a Pharisee...but the publican beating his chest.
Like the psalmist, Isaiah now knows how it is to feel the weight of sin and to no longer want to hide it.
He now knows how freeing it is to confess and be cleansed --and so he does it regularly.
He now knows that the Lord looks at the heart more than the outward appearance.
He now knows he needs to set boundaries to avoid temptations.
He now knows he needs God's help to get through the day.
He gets it! Our do-gooder really gets it! As a parent, it's both painful and beautiful to watch. It's...a miracle, really. Like a new birth. And it's out of our hands...the real stuff that's happening. Oh, we can still influence his thinking and we can still teach him...but the real, I mean genuine heart change, that's God's territory.
909, we are overjoyed that you've entered God's territory. We pray for at least 9 more years of entering deeper into that territory together and learning hundreds of lessons along the way.
We love you so much, it makes us ache!
Happy 9th Birthday to the most wonderful son we could ever hope for!