It was June, the summer of 2005. We were preparing to move from Hoover, Alabama to Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Carter, my son, was six and Macey, my daughter, four. This particular week, the kids and I were participating in Vacation Bible School. I made a deal with them that if they learned our new address and phone number by the end of the week, on Friday after VBS we would get ice cream. Every morning on the way to church and every afternoon on the way home we practiced in the car over and over again.
Friday morning came and along our drive I asked Macey, “what is our new phone number going to be?” She answered with ease and efficiency. Then I asked Carter, “what is our new address going to be?” He too answered correctly and promptly. A silence fell over the car until a little voice piped up from the backseat. In the most curious of tones, Carter asked, “Hey mom, I was just wondering, what our new last name is going to be?” After I caught my breath from laughing so hard, I explained that there are some things we are born into, and they never change because they were given to us. I am not sure my answer made sense to him, but it seemed to satisfy his curiosity at the moment.
We have had to ponder a similar question a lot together over the past two years. His life was changed forever two years ago today, July 28, 2014 due to a traumatic brain injury. All of our lives were changed. Despite all the redirections, again I can tell Carter, some things will never change because they were given to us. The One we did not earn that was given to us for free will never change. Although our physical locations may change, and we change, our identity as a child of God will never change.
The moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are adopted into the family of God. Our identity, as his beloved son, or beloved daughter can not be altered by circumstances. He delights in us on our best days, and just as much on our worst days. No amount of good works or model behavior can earn us His love. They were imparted to us when we chose to believe.
Ephesians 2:8-10 ~God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
What a gift we have in Jesus. I cannot even fully comprehend the depth of His sacrifice. He has been a faithful friend to us through the hardest of times.
It is not because we have Him that our lives are easy. It is because we have Him that our lives are changed for the better. He brings purpose to our pain and consistency to circumstances that continually change.
Last night I was replaying the last two years in my head. I never knew looking back on my past tears would bring so much abundance to my present years. Situations that seemed like the hardest of times were in many ways the sweetest of times in retrospect.
Suffering is the soil most fertile for growth and change is often God’s conduit for the cultivation of hearts. We can joyfully and fully embrace our struggles because we later find we have walked out of them having found our greatest strengths.
We are all still works in progress in our family. It is a cradle to the grave process, but we can rest in the assurance that it is as it should be. Thank you Jesus for loving us in all our brokenness. Remind us everyday to rest in what was given to us and will never change-You. We love You Lord Jesus.