You grow more and more into your own personhood each day. I see your personality beginning to emerge in each smile, each laugh, each look of concern or excitement or depth of thought. What kind of man will you become? We named you Judah after the Lion. The Great Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who came to the earth to do beautiful and difficult things in the Story of our redemption.
Our prayer is that you would grow to be brave and courageous and strong and good. Our hope is that you would stand up for the weak and love the unlovable. That you would do the right thing even when it is difficult and painful. I don't want pain for you, but I do want courage. And if being brave and true brings adversity, then I want for you to have the strength to accept it. As your mama, I guess I will need strength to accept it as well.
I don't want you to just be safe. I want you to be a pursuer of the heart of God. Sometimes that isn't safe, but it is always good. I want wisdom for you. May you have a God-given ability to see the bigger picture and the wisdom to know what to do with it. I want for you to know the depths of God's love for you. On the days when you fail--and you will fail--I want you to know that God's grace covers all things. Sometimes how we handle our failures can define us more than how we handle our successes. Let your failures build you up. Don't let them tear you down. Remember that God's love for you doesn't ebb and flow like the tide. It is strong, it is solid, and it is unquestionably for you. There will be times in life when sin will try to bind you up and shut you down. You do not have to let it. There is always a way out. It may be difficult, but on the other side you will see the hope and beauty and goodness that has always been there--waiting for you.
Don't live by any label this world wants to give you. If you must live by a label, let it be a reminder of the truest things about you. Redeemed. Loved. Forgiven. Chosen. Blessed. Son. The world will tell you that you are not enough. It will tell you that you need to be more selfish. It will tell you that you need to be more trendy. It will tell you that you need to have more stuff. It will tell you that you shouldn't be content with what you have or confident in who and Whose you are. Let the world's worries fall from you. You will find contentment when you refuse to own them.
You were loved from the beginning and you will be loved forevermore. You are loved by me simply because you are my son. I will love you forever--I would lay down my life for you. More importantly, you are loved by your God simply because you are His son. He will love you beyond the farthest forever and he did lay down his life for you. May you live in the freedom of that love more and more each day. I am so excited to watch you grow. I am so blessed to be your mama.
All My Heart,