So all of you who read my blogs know that I have a 7th grader now. He has gone through a lot of changes over the last several months. He actually is quite easy to deal with right now. He talks more maturely and of course his physical appearance has changed. I have even seen him come out of his shell in the last year and have really enjoyed his playful personality. Affection is a hit or miss thing with him. He is not one to give me a hug out of the blue. I have to initiate it and it is usually a side hug. But he has always told me he loves me. Most of the times he is just responding because I said it first, but nonetheless, he still says it. I love you. These are three simple words that hold such a huge meaning. So naturally, hearing these words every day make me happy and content, but I didn't realize how much I take those words for granted until Christian stopped saying them.
We are in the 3rd week of school now, and since schedules have changed, I have been able to take Christian in to school each morning. It is a short ride but we usually listen to music and talk about school or football. Sometimes it's a silent ride if one of us is tired. I began to notice that I would say "I love you" before he got out of the car and he would not respond. He grabbed his lunch and his backpack and just walked into that Middle School building without looking back. His body language did not seem disrespectful but he just left. The first day it happened, I thought maybe he just didn't hear me or it was first day jitters. But it happened the next day and the next and the next. I talked to Bryan about it and first thing he asked is if anyone was around. Bryan thought maybe he doesn't want to be embarrassed in front of his friends. But this was in the car before he even got out. I chose to not confront him about it and to just keep my hurt feelings to myself. Christian has always been buds with Bryan. Bryan can sit and talk to him at bed time and Christian will just tell him stuff about his day. And I get one word answers. All those emotions began to flood in my spirit. So I started pouting about it to myself. I thought to myself, "Does that boy know how much I believe in him, how much I pray for him?" Does that boy know I still wash his clothes and make his lunch? Oh poor pitiful me! I have to admit the pity party is self satisfying but only for a short time.
But even after all of that, I still hid my hurt. Then it happened. Today, September 20 at approximately 7:05 he told me he loved me. And it was before I said it. I was trying to keep it together as I simply responded "I love you too." I did my best to play it so cool. So needless to say I was on cloud nine. I couldn't stop smiling on the way to work. I put my praise music on and began to pray. This is how my prayer sounded, "Lord thank you for Christian telling me he loves me. Lord I hope he realizes how much I love him and how much he means to me..." I suddenly stopped and was silent for a moment. It hit me. Tears came to my eyes and I asked for forgiveness.
How many times have I forgotten to tell the Lord I love Him? How many times have I been ungrateful? Here I was expecting a 12 year old to wrap his brain around all that I do for him and how much I love him. And yet I am 35 and forget how much the Lord does for me. He has blessed me with so much even though I fail Him daily. He tells me He loves me everyday but sometimes I am so busy that I forget to hear His still small voice. He is proud of me but not based on my performance. He loves me just because I am His. He gives me clothes on my back, a roof over my head and a feast to fill my belly with. And yet I forget to pause and say thank you and I love you. God must have a pity party every second, right? But He doesn't because He understands our burdens and His grace follow us, and He forgives our sins as far as the East is from the West.
So even though I want to hear those three little words all the time from my 7th grade boy, I know to cherish the moments he says it even more. I will hold those moments close to my heart. Maybe something clicked in Christian's mind today. Maybe he had a moment of compassion for me. Whatever the reason, God's timing is perfect. He knows just how to get to my heart. Even if it was a brief moment of one rainy morning, my heart is full. If I am ecstatic about those three words then I can only imagine the Lord smiling when I take the time to tell Him...
"I love you Lord, and I lift my voice to worship you. Oh my, soul, rejoice. Take joy my King in what you hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear."