In a few weeks, our son, Matthew, “gift of God”, will whisk his new bride down the aisle to a life of happily ever after. It seems like just yesterday we brought that 8 lb. 2 oz. bundle of joy home from the hospital. Yet a few blinks of an eye later he is 27 and is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.
Maybe it didn’t start off as all joy. After waiting for over six years to start our family, we were thrilled to welcome our wide-eyed precious daughter. Our “princess” Sarah was only five months old when we found out we would have another baby. God’s timing is always interesting. How would we manage two in diapers at the same time? Now, only fourteen months later, our family was complete. Late to start and early to finish! Woo hoo!
Going back to work once Sarah was weaned, I thought I was living the American dream. With another sweet baby on his way, suddenly my priorities were realigned to stay at home with two children under the age of two. Thankfully, the unintended closeness of my pregnancies gave me several treasured years of watching my babies grow up. Matt got to enjoy a much more laid back lifestyle as a result, with our schedule fashioned around the children rather than my work.
Adored by his big sister, Matt wanted for nothing and enjoyed Sarah doting over him as her prized possession. He was much more chilled out than his sister. It was evident in their hospital photographs, where her eyes were bright and wide open while his were closed in sleep. That boy has always loved his sleep. Whenever it was nap time or bedtime, Matt would come and say he wanted to go “night night”. Life was good for the baby boy of the household.
Growing up was always an adventure for Matt, with the entire universe as his territory for treasure hunting. His knack for finding beauty in everything was a constant source of joy. Rocks, bugs, foil (yes, he collected foil), arrowheads, stray dogs, knives, duck calls, antique tools, bottle caps, and mounts of the game he has harvested are just a few of the collections he has gathered over the years. Amazingly, Matt has extended his ability to look for the good to doing the same for people God has placed in his life. Yes, he’s one who always believes the best about someone, a rare trait in this cynical world.
Though Matt is very free-spirited and fun-loving, he has always been extremely goal-oriented and strategic about his future. His plans are idealistic, but he does what it takes to make them happen. The one part of his life plan that was elusive to his expectations and timeline was getting married. Graduate from college in four years, have a job waiting, buy a house, and get married were on the list. The first three happened without incident, and Matt has been exceedingly blessed.
Several heart-breaking attempts at making it happen brought Matt to his knees and caused his impatient heart to seek only God’s best plan in His timing for such a life-altering relationship. Mutual friends introduced Matt and Kristin to each other, along with a copy of a couples Bible study workbook. Thankfully, their relationship was founded on a love for Christ and a desire to find the one God wanted them to marry. What I see is two people who love God and each other. From the very beginning, this has been an “easy” relationship, one where it seemed they had always been together, though both were a bit skittish from previous hurts.
So, in May 2014, not long from now, Matt will have another woman in his life, one more important than me. She is the treasure He was looking for all those years. Although there were a few rough patches while Matt was growing up, I couldn’t be more proud of the godly man and future head of the household he has become. The “gift of God” who was loaned to me is given back to Him. Only then can Matt become Kristin’s “gift of God”. What a beautiful picture of God’s plan laid out from the beginning of time!