I finally got around to going through my images from this year, and I found that I had to go all the way back to the end of January. (That's actually not too bad!) I found one image from Jacob's birthday, and it inspired me to publicly share a letter to him.
As I reflect back on your recent 21st birthday, I'm filled with thankfulness to the Lord for the person you have become. I know you feel as if you've arrived--confident and self-assured in your faith--and I also know that you realize you have a long journey to travel in life. I continually pray that you will always follow the Lord in all things, throughout all your life. I'm confident in Him that you will. :)
You have been a source of joy throughout your growing-up years. All I have to do is think of a funny thing that happened in our family, and I usually find you at the center of it. You were such a happy baby, smiling through diaper changes and even the flu. I remember you sweetly smiling up at your Nana, who had arrived at midnight and woke you up in your crib to see her six-month-old grandson for the very first time.
I never lacked for conversation with you around! We read books together, and you talked about all that you had learned, whether through those books, or through experiences collected in your little life. Oh, the things you could tell me about cars and trucks, dinosaurs and trains!
Let's not forget the famous dance, that strange singsong-y movement around those large stacking boxes, and you trying to kick them until they fell over. I am forever grateful that Grandma recorded that little scene, saved for all eternity (or at least until your wedding day). I can't see that little video without dissolving into hysterical tears of laughter.
Forgive me for all the reminiscing. You have to realize, dear son, that you are grown up now, and those memories are the treasures I will cherish in my heart forever. You are grown up, and are beginning to forge your own way in the world. The path that the Lord has laid out for you is no longer hand-in-hand with mine. Your road is beginning to diverge, and as I look into the near future I see it curving away even more.
I have five little months left to enjoy all that you are, and then you will begin to leave. I'm already trying to prepare my heart for your departure as an upperclassman to WIU, because I know the weekend will come when you've settled in to your dorm, and the moment will arrive when your father and I will drive away without you.
I already know you will be academically successful. I already know you will find strong Christian friends. I already know you will be successful in the vocation you have chosen. I already know you will conduct yourself with honor and integrity before the Lord and men. I will miss you all the same. You are a treasure to me.
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