God's Favor in the Unprecedented

9:22 AMHeather

Yesterday was a big day at our house.  Birthdays are always big days around here.  We try to make them a very special day, where each child can feel their worth in the unique person that they are.  Yesterday, my middle child turned 11.  Yes, on March 15, 2001, at 3:31 pm, this little bundle of joy entered our world.

Our Super Cooper.  Cooper Ethan.  Our second born son.  And, I recently read something that I think pretty well sums up my Cooper.  He is unprecedented.  It's hard to find words to describe a child who defies definition.  A child whose creativity and expression and intellect are just simply in a class of his own.  I used to think maybe unexpected described him.  But, no, I think unprecedented gives him the honor he is due.  Raising a child who is unprecedented can be tricky to navigate at times.  I know that some of you bloggy friends can relate because I know your stories.  That common ground we've shared about being just the mother required for a big job.   I want to be careful here because I don't want to paint an unflattering picture by any means, or in any way dishonor this amazing, precious, precocious, gifted, joyful and UNIQUE son that I have the pleasure of seeing become a young man pursuing God and embracing the person he was made to be.

Words don't do him justice, but here, today, I will try.  Today, I want to pay homage (a day late) to the amazing favor of God that I have seen through this unprecedented child.  It is God's favor to stretch me to places I never thought I could go.  Okay, actually, to places I'd never even considered.  It is God's favor to remind me time and time again that yes, I am the one for the job.  It's quite a vote of confidence from my Heavenly Father to give me the task of raising an independent person with a vision for things I have never imagined.  

Let me offer you one "Cooperism" to try to paint a better picture of this special young man.  When he was five, he told me, "Mom, God is like the door to life, and satan is the lock.  But, it's okay--because Jesus is the key."  What kindergartner has THAT perspective--all on his own?  How about I share a photo that sums up my Cooper pretty well.  Take a look.

That is his latest masterpiece.  Do you get it?  Are you raising a child who colors outside the lines?  Or, maybe you are facing a circumstance far outside the lines of what you expected?  And, you face it, head on, and think, "how do I navigate this unexpected thing?"  May I challenge you today to embrace this, not as the unexpected, but as the unprecedented?  Because God's favor is wrapped up in the unprecedented.  He loves to show up there, in ways we can never imagine.  How about parting the Red Sea?  Or showing up in a burning bush?  A talking donkey?  A night in a lion's den?  Or a fiery furnace?  All of those things might be seen from one angle as intimidating or scary or the unknown.  But, may I challenge you today to see them from another angle?  From the view that we serve a God of the unprecedented?  We serve a God who just loves to knock our socks off by showing up in ways we've never considered.  It's there, in the unchartered territory that we can learn to see His hand.  And, what a privilege it is.

Glimpse of grace:  11 years ago yesterday, they placed a perfect, chubby cheeked baby in my arms whom the nurses said was going to be born--with or without me.  Yep, one push and there he was.  It was a preview of what was to come.  I believe this child has the wits, common sense, creativity, and ability to raise himself--with or without me.  He's pretty convinced of it himself, in fact.  He thinks in ways my brain doesn't.  He sees things in life that I miss completely.  He has taught me more than I could ever hope to teach him.  And, praise God that I have the privilege to come along for the ride.  Needed or not--I am being trained to see the wonder of God in the unprecedented.  Happiest of birthdays to my amazing guy!

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