being told of S.C. and D.C.
Today is James' 18th birthday. I know in these earthly lives the 18th birthday is a huge milestone. That landmark event of high school graduation, college choices, and the beginning of adulthood in citizenship, in moving away from home, and in being officially a "man." I doubt eternity notes it at all.
But I wanted to remember today that though James died nearly 16 years ago, this day, his birthday, is still one for me to pause and give thanks. Thanks for his life; thanks for the two and a half years he lived; thanks for how God held me near each of those days; and thanks for the gift of hope I have in eternal life.
He was born this day 18 years ago on an Easter Sunday morning. He weighed 9 lbs exactly. He had a head full of jet black hair with the dark eyes to match. He was perfect to the eyes and hearts of his parents. His life already laid out by his Father would bring us to the heights and depths of knowing God's perfect love.
Every day, and I mean every.day. in some way I miss him. It's not a soul-breaking ache that keeps me in weeping. It's not even visible to those around me on a daily basis. But it is the shadow in my life that keeps me vigilantly aware that this life is not complete and this dwelling is not my home.
Scriptural truths about heaven, about loss, about restoration, about hope, all have greater meaning to me now, in these 18 years hence. I have been privileged to know deeply God's character in His giving and taking of James. Beauty from ashes is truth to me. Restoration of all brokenness is not wishful thinking but certain hope.
If James were alive, today would be a day of celebration with cake, a large gift, friends, family, and dreams of what would come next in this life. In reality, today is still a celebration. Cake and gift not necessary nor imagined as happening in heaven. I don't need balloons floating up to the sky to keep me tethered to a son once held, now remembered.
James' life was exactly as it should have been for a fallen world. His life is exactly as it should be in heaven. That is where I rest. I can miss him with all my might and still praise the Name of the One who is perfect in all of His ways and will.
I have a son, eighteen years old, as we count these days and years. I have a son eternal as God counts. To God be the Glory!