There I sat at my baby's baccalaureate. Never had been to one. I went early and sat quietly alone in this beautiful pristine church building graced with gorgeous stained-glass arched windows. The afternoon sun peeked into my heart of memories. Thought about the church where I grew up with its stained-glass stately windows that I would gaze at every day of my life as my parochial school required us to attend church every morning. Even in those quiet moments, prayers under my breath went up to a then-distant God. Not anymore. He's near to me this day and I'm so grateful. Somehow, HE has filled me with the Knowledge of His Will and I know things today I didn't know even last week. How those shifts occur, IDK?? But, it's happening and I am ever so grateful to a Good God in the midst of some confusion and a little chaos.
So, I celebrate this precious boy God has given to his dad and me. This high school graduation is not what I live for---it's just a page of his life turning. He has been such a joy to raise. It was a miracle Britt was born. We went through 7 years of infertility. Then, one day, I touched his toe for the first time. Ecstatic. The troubled pregnancy had about done me in with fear I couldn't manage. Overwhelming pain. God was about to step in...and HE did! I was far more concerned about being delivered from my pain than delivered from my darkness. Not right.
Britt attacks life with humility and kindness and such respect for his parents and others. I couldn't say enough good things about this child and all the good that God has stirred up inside of him. He's faced his hard times and come through well. I've thought a lot about 2 Thes 1: 11,12 in raising him that God was answering every desire for what's right in his life. Today, I think a lot about 2 Tim 4:7 and will pray that verse for him til I go to my grave. May he fight the good fight of faith in his young adult years. May he finish the course God has set for him. May he keep the faith!
Britt started swimming when he was 4 and competed for the next 13 years. He met his lifelong friends Ethan, Greg, Andrew and Ben in kindergarten. The fab five will forever be friends. His junior year was interrupted by a Great Divide. A very unexpected turn-of-God-events found my husband no longer on the church staff where we had served for 27 years or so. We had nowhere to go and our Good God moved into my life in ways I could have never imagined. But first, he brought me to another end of myself while Britt watched. We were "graced with disaster that your soul requires to bring you back home." (SJoC). I became alive in ways I had never been! Then God moved us to a new church in Austin in one week's time. Bob said we wouldn't go if God was not in it for Britt. Britt saw it as part of his journey. We were only here a few short months when I was diagnosed with cancer. Again, you watched and wondered if I would make it to your graduation. We found Hyde Park Baptist School, one of the largest private schools in Austin. We knew no one. Britt walked into the junior halls and hearts of kids like Nash and Dillon and the girls. Unbelievable what God has done for us all. Nash will be his lifelong friend and they are going to be Longhorns together! Here's Dillon, Britt and Nash at their 2010 Baccalaureate.
Britt's progress is not measured by his many achievements like getting a full-ride to the University of Texas or recognitions by huge companies like Coca Cola National Scholar or even being so loved and accepted by his Hyde Park classmates. No, this journey is all about detaching from what claims our affections, what rules our lives, and attaching to the One Whom we were created to enjoy. Rev. 4:11. This child has been so willing to deal with what's going on inside of him when he gets off course--- and live humbly. Oh, that our Christ continue to be formed in him. Gal. 4:19.
So, congratulations Britt as you walk the stage this Friday night. I'll be there thinking about a kid in footed pajamas who stole my heart as a baby, and kept on loving his family for the past 18 years. You've done what has been asked of you and so much more. You spent about 2,000 hours in community service, not an easy thing to do while achieving all-state in four sports. You raised over $5,000 and delivered good stuff to help displaced kids in Thailand. You went to Boys State and HOBY and Youth and Government every year. And you didn't complain about such a heavy schedule, even SAR! One line you wrote in your admissions essay stands out to this mom: "Life is not about achievements but it's about making a difference in the life of a child. It's about seeing the smile on the faces of kids like 11-year-old Nat whom we were able to help learn to walk for the first time in his life."
This mom will miss you more than you will ever know! You'll be in the same town, but I'll just pretend that you went to the University of Nebraska like Barrett did and give you some space to learn and live and love. And if you ever want the best burger and shake, I'll meet you at Mighty Fine in a sec. There's a new chapter to be written in your story in a Story! As David's last words about his son, Solomon, say: God, please give Britt a "true heart" that He may know you more. 1 Chron. 29:19.
2 Chronicles 36:23 - You belong to God. Keep on returning home to Him! May your God be with you at UT! Move forward!