It was Colby’s, my husband, birthday this past Saturday. As the butcher paper card stamped with a bold “38” listing 38 reasons why we love this man hung a bit crooked on our living room wall, we celebrated a day of being together. In our family, we like to display our cards. It is worth the grief of hearing the Indiana Jones and Superman theme songs and the melodies of dogs farting the birthday song over and over again, as it is always among the old man cackles of our 6 and 8 year old boys.Growing old is an honor in our place, and we love the days that bring minimal rules, for most is justified by the simple statement of “It’s my birthday”.
During the opening of gifts, I watched our boys bring their own cards to their father. Coen, our 6 year old, began to read to his dad that he “loved him more…” He loved him more than football cards, the Longhorns (oh gracious!), and his “stuff”animals. He doesn’t love his dad because of these things, he simply was saying that I choose you dad because I love you more.
Then our 8 year old, Carter, began to read his letter. He wrote his card by himself after we finished our “38” wall décor card, and he quickly realized that there were more than “38” reasons why we love this man in our life. In his found freedom of being able to speak truth, he began to write down who his dad was spiritually and the promises of God that follow.
“A dreamer of God never fails Him. A dreamer of God says yes to all of His commands. A dreamer of God helps people. A dreamer of Jesus never gives up. A dreamer of the Holy Spirit is honorable…” Even though his voice stopped, his words continued as if echoing in each of our hearts. He was just speaking God’s heart over Colby.
Do We Love Him More?
The weekend passed and in the middle of the next week’s reality, I noticed how my mind continues to go back to this “birthday card” moment. Am I at the place in my relationship with God where I talk to Him like my boys talked to their dad? Do I love God more? Do I speak His heart over my life?
The fragile time and space called “college” is a mystery of dichotomies. We feel the “whole” of ourselves become riddled between feelings of freedom and limitation, wisdom and ignorance, advancement and failure, etc. We begin to question the very basic truths that we have maybe believed our whole lives, or the truths that we didn’t even realize formed our paradigms. We begin to question our very selves. We begin to question our very God, and in that questioning we must answer “Do I love Him more?”
Do I love him more than being right? Do I love Him more than being able to do it on my own? Do I love him more than fully understanding all of His sovereignty?
Do We Love Him More, No Matter What?
Let’s take this a step further. Do we love Him more IF…or do we love Him more WHEN…or do we love Him more BECAUSE? Do you find that your paradigms of God allow your love to be shown or His love for you to be felt IF you make an A on this exam, or WHEN you get into that Graduate program, or BECAUSE you are in a good relationship?
Am I able to tell Him that I love him more than knowing where my family and I will live in a year? Or do I love him more than knowing where our non-profit business will be in a year? Able or not, I chose to say it.
As I spoke those simple yet game changing truths, vision began to come. I began to feel and see that as I brought to Him my faith and repentance, then He, in His grace, can do what He has declared to do — bring freedom; freedom to speak truth, freedom to speak His promises, freedom to speak His hope. So Lord, as we all sit on the verge of being another year older, and another degree wiser, we say that we love You more. We choose You. We love to speak who we are in You. Holy Spirit continue to reveal to us the simple in the confusing, Your vision in Your promises.
Thank you for Birthdays. Thank you for Birthday Cards.