Friday, August 20, 2010


Have you ever recieved a certified letter? You know, one of those mysterious envelopes that require a signature before it can be delivered. It doesn’t matter that it’s addressed to you, or that the contents were written for you to read, you can’t have it until you sign for it. It’s not really yours until you can prove that you’ve received it. Well, after rolling my eyes at countless church signs over the years that schooled their readers on the efficiency of ‘knee mail’, I have a declaration to make: I recieved the equivalent of a certified letter from my Father.

I have a fourteen year-old son. You would love to meet him. He has a dazzling smile and green eyes that remind me of the ocean after a storm. He’s that kind of guy that you want on your team because even if you’re not playing his best sport, you can always count on him to make sure the team believes they can win. He laughs a lot. Sometimes it’s at the worst times and on his best day, he’ll have you choking back laughter in the middle of an emergency room, changing a flat tire in a thunderstorm, or while you’re cleaning up the aftermath of a flooded basement. He looks good in cowboy boots and belt buckles, makes friends with the elderly, and neighbors are always glad to see him coming. He’s as good as the day is long and the world is a nicer place to live in just because he’s here.

My son is also standing in that chapter of life in which you aren’t quite sure who you are, what matters, or what you believe. It’s not a fun place to be if we’re honest about our teenage years. Stuck somewhere between who you were and who you will be, it’s easy to allow temporary confusion to tempt you to give up on permanant clarity. I worry about that kid. Actually, that’s a gross understatement. If I were completely honest, I would tell you that I cry out to God on a daily basis to speak to him, rescue him, secure his future, and brand his heart. Sometimes, I get so caught up in my worries that I forget all the great things he does. Out of fear, I’ll concentrate on his mistakes, immaturity and what I perceive as wasted potential. Even worse, I find myself pushing him to be more, better or different, but not because he’s missing the mark, simply because I fear that he will. On those days, all I can do is ask God to fill in the cracks when I fail him.

So, after about a year of worrying that my son might make a mistake in my care that will diminish the future that he’s worked so hard for, God decided to send me a certified letter. It wasn’t that He hadn’t tried to get my attention beforehand, because He did. I wish I had written down all the times I’d gone to bed with a perfect peace about my son’s future. I wish I could tell you how many times God reminded me that He used my mistakes for His glory. I wish I could have shared a cup of coffee with you on my porch when I tearfully explained to you how I knew, more than I knew my name, that my son would be okay. But, I can’t. Because all those messages got lost in the mail. I knew they were there, but I never really received them.

A few days ago, I was sitting on my couch watching a Braves game when my fourteen year-old ran downstairs with his guitar. “Listen to what I learned,” he asked, settling in beside me.

For the next few minutes, I listened as he strummed out the most beautiful tune I had ever heard him play. Impressed, I smiled and asked, “What is that?”

Unwilling to let me off the hook that easily, he shook his head. “No, Mom. You know this song. Listen again,” he said. “You know this!”

And so he played it again. I had to close my eyes to hear it, but when the words to that tune found their way to my heart, I literally held my breath, allowing the truth of what I was hearing to sink in. I sang a few words as he played and was rewarded with a dazzling smile and sparkling eyes that remind me of the ocean after a storm. “Great is Your faithfulness, Oh God. You wrestle with the sinner’s heart. You lead us by still waters into mercy. And nothing can keep us apart.”

Right then and there, I signed my name to that message.

“Your Grace is Enough,” my son said.

And it is.


  1. Wow, that brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy for the moment you were able to realize what a wonderful mother and person you are. I only hope I have a fraction of that in me as I guide my three. You are an inspiration.


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