It was a Sunday morning in January, 1983. Just the day before, the Washington Redskins had won the NFC championship and were headed to the Super Bowl. I was in the shower, getting ready for church. It seemed like a normal day. Little did we know that our lives were about to be forever changed.
My morning routine was interrupted by the news that it was time to go to the hospital. You see, Jan was in her final days of her first pregnancy, and it was time for this child to come into the world. This first child was a son, someone to carry on the family name. We named him Joshua.
Within the first few months of this son's life, we moved to the Cincinnati area. During his time there, we began to get a hint of the person this son would become. From asking us to put money in a box set up to collect for a ministry to the poor to expressing concern for homeless people we would see when visiting DC, his concern for the least of these was evident early on.
We learned very quickly that this boy was very intelligent, and our challenge became helping him to develop that intellect. Fortunately he loved to read, and regular trips to the library became our ally. We found out though, that keeping him challenged in school would be more difficult. Although we never really had to worry very much about grade, we did have to nudge him a couple of times in middle school after we had moved to South Carolina. One thing we learned about this son during these years is that while he loved to learn, and was interested in a wide range of subjects, things like grades and class ranks didn't really interest him.
When he went away to college, we missed him. We knew that going away would be good for him, and for us. He was in a place where his faith would be both challenged and strengthened, where he could grow into the person God wanted him to be. He graduated ready to take on the world.
God had other plans though, and he went through a couple of years of temporary jobs and economic difficulty. As time went on, he came to feel drawn in a different direction. Deciding on a career in architecture, he made the hard decision to leave his friends and the city he had come to love and come back home to pursue a graduate degree. It has been difficult at times for him.
In four months, he will graduate. Then it's out into the real world. Jobs are scarce, but we are confident that God has something out there for him. One thing that has not changed is the heart for the poor and downtrodden that was there when he was a child. It will be exciting to see how God will combine that heart with the art and science of architecture.
Little did we know what the last twenty seven years would bring. We are extremely gratefully to the Father for the privilege of parenting this special son. Josh, we love you and are very proud of you. You have brought, and continue to bring, great joy to us. We pray for God's continued blessing on you, and for his guidance as you step into your future.
Happy birthday, Josh. We love you.
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