Letters For My Sons

William: I see you.

I’m writing because I see you. Maybe not all of who you really are. Maybe I see my vision of you. But it’s where I start.

We don’t get as much time together as I’d like. In my perfect world, I would not have made as many mistakes as I did, and I’d be retired by now, and we’d have more time to spend together.

But we’re still both working for a living. And that’s the way it is.

But I think about you – a lot. And like any good dad, I confess I do worry about you sometimes. Maybe it means I’m not trusting God perfectly with all the ins and outs of your life. But I think it comes naturally.

Your grandfather said something to me a few years back, not long before he passed away, that stuck with me. He said, “you’ll worry about your kids until the day you die.”

It’s true. You guys are all grown now, getting married and having kids, and I still worry about what your futures will look like.

Your grandfather would always ask me about you guys – how you were doing, how you were earning a living, if you’d settled into any kind of a solid career yet. You used to drive a garbage disposal truck. He never saw much future in that.

I know that you didn’t either. And I always knew (as did everyone who knew you) that you had so much more potential than that.

But I always wondered how much you saw your potential.

I see you, and I see your potential.

It’s interesting to me that as you were growing up, if you’d asked your brothers, I think they would have all agreed that they thought you were my favourite. I don’t know if you knew that.

And I might be wrong about that. But it’s just that when they would make comments from time to time, it seems that was the consensus, as far as I could tell.

I don’t know that I ever had “favourites.”

Maybe I did. But I loved each one of you guys so much I never spent time comparing any of you in my head to see which one was my favourite. So if I did, I don’t know who it was.

But I know I was protective of you. I remember trips we took where your brothers would pick on you in the back seat of the van and it just got me enraged with anger. But I was angry over the situation.

You see, I hated it when any of you picked on any of the others. I loved all of you, and if any of you picked on one of your brothers, you were picking on someone I loved. And I hated that it was happening.

But now, that is all in the rear view mirror.

You guys all get along pretty good now. Compared to what I hear from other men my age, you guys are doing pretty good as a family. I’m happy that you all seem to care about each other and that you all get along.

But son, I see you. I see you and I’m proud.

I think the “normalness” of life can be overwhelming sometimes. You’re working a job you don’t exactly love, perhaps. But you’re doing it and you’re doing it WELL, in spite of the fact it maybe isn’t a dream job.

You’re doing it because it’s what a man does. He finds a way to provide for his wife and kids. You have responsibilities for those little critters – those grandchildren I love so much. And you’re doing it faithfully, and providing for your family. You and your wife both work hard and you’re going to make it. You’ll be alright.

Your uncle Dave once said, “there is no such thing as a perfect job. But there are jobs where there is enough about them to keep them interesting that it makes them good jobs, if you have to have a job.” And I think he nailed it for most people.

But my prayer for you is that you don’t find your identity merely in your job.

It’s natural for a guy to find his identity in what he “does.” But life gets stressful sometimes and if what you “do” doesn’t seem to scratch the itch about satisfying “who you are,” it’s maybe not such a bad thing.

Because, in the end, “who you are” really is about much more than just “what you do.”

I look back over my life – the stresses that came, the mistakes I have made, and I’ve seen how God has used the pain of what I’ve messed up to put me on my knees, seeking His face and learning about His faithfulness and His provision for me and for the ones I love.

The reality is that, at this age, I’ve come to see that God sees me for “who I am” in spite of what I’ve “done.”

God loves me because of who HE is, and not because of what I’ve done.

My prayer for you, son, is that you will ultimately find your identity in “being a king’s kid“: that you’ll let God draw near to you, in all the humdrum of life, in all the “less than perfect” of your life situation right now.

I pray that you’ll seek His face. Don’t mask any frustrations you have with any of the “less than perfectness” of your life with distractions. Avoid the attractions of youth and the momentary pleasures of those things that fall short of God’s best choices in your life.

TALK TO HIM about it and let Him meet you where you are. He can use the pain of any frustrations you might ever have with your life to draw you into His pleasure.

God sees you. He is pleased.

God is not finished with you. I see hope and a future for you.

You love your kids. They adore you. You and your wife are their whole world right now. You guys have a place to shine in their world. Draw near to the Lord and seek His face so you can shine life and hope for those little ones that God has entrusted to you.

You know what you believe about Him. Let Him show you how to believe Him – to trust Him so He can show Himself strong to you.

Always continue to find your ultimate meaning and purpose in Him. Draw near to Him. Make it your life aim to fall in love with Him over and over again.

Son, I love you bunches. I always have. I always will.

And I see you.

Don’t let the pressures of life distract you from all the potential you have to be a “King’s kid” with all of what the means for you and for Him.


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