A Father’s Day Blessing Named Colton

A Father’s Day Blessing Named Colton

We pause today for Father’s Day. I had some perfect thoughts for the occasion…part six of our series “Raising Faith.” It can wait until tomorrow, for seventeen years ago today, I had the privilege of bringing my second son into the world. He was born on Father’s Day weekend and has been the delight and apple of his father’s eye ever since.


You may recall that I referenced him a few days ago. Colton came into a world filled with chaos and noise. He was my quiet child. Was, that is. Somewhere around age ten, he found his voice, and for the past seven years he has filled my life with much laughter, warmth, and weary! I’ve not parented him perfectly. In many ways, the life that we share together as mother and son might just well be my perfection in the end.


I love Colton. His energy is boundless, and his love for life, for people, for God, and for conversation mirrors his mother’s reflection. His tenderness of heart and his passion for just about everything are worthy of my tribute. Therefore, I want to share with you something I wrote about him ten years ago…almost to the very day.

We were preparing to leave my childhood home in Kentucky to make our way to North Carolina where my husband would assume the role of his first pastorate. It was a hard transition, and our feelings surfaced raw and unsuspecting at every turn. This was one of those occasions. As I chronicled back then, Colton had much to teach us during that season of change. He still does. May God bless this particular “stone of remembrance” as only he can.

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June 1998– “A Peaceful Letting Go”

It was one of those defining moments. You know the kind. It came suddenly…unexpectedly…yet perfectly timed.

Colton, my soon-to-be seven year old, was greatly anticipating his upcoming birthday. Upon a routine trip to Sears, he spied some shiny new bikes and decided that one of these treasures was his heart’s desire for his special day. I spent a few minutes explaining to Colton that, indeed, a bike would make a nice gift. However, knowing Colton, I told him that he would first have to learn to ride his brother’s bike before we would purchase him a new one. I thought that this discussion would be the end of it, for my son is extremely frightened about trying new things–especially launching out on a new set of wheels.

After returning home that evening, I noticed that Colton was squirming around in the garage, trying to access his brother’s bike. He announced to me that he wanted to practice. D-day was five days away, and he was going to learn. With skepticism, I strapped on his loosely fitting bike helmet and sent him out to the street with his abundantly patient step-dad. I would watch from the porch.

After thirty minutes of 90 degree heat and running up and down the road with wobbly bike in tow, my husband handed the responsibility of teaching over to me. Colton was making progress, yet remained terrified of the letting go. In my no nonsense kind of way, I instructed Colton to look ahead, move the pedals, and focus on the task at hand. I assured him of my grip, and off we went. After two or three trips down the road, my weariness was apparent.

You need to know that I was tired. I had just come down from a very emotional two weeks without husband, without parents, working full time, finishing the school year, selling a home, preparing for a move, wanting to keep peace, looking for peace…longing for peace. So in all of this upheaval, there I was…

Running…sweating…instructing…frustrated…exhausted.

It was at that moment, when it happened. Christ came down and jogged alongside us and spent a few moments creating a most profound realization within my spirit. In those brief moments of suspended time, the Lord revealed to me that it was not my son’s lack of coordination, nor his inability to focus that remained his barrier for taking off. It was my grip–the tightly locked fingers on the back of his seat–that was keeping him from success. I was certain that he was going to crash. He was going to hurt himself, and in that hurting, he would become discouraged and never want to try again. In that moment, the pain and discouragement of all my past “letting go’s” came back, and I knew what I must do.

Immediately, my grip released, and I watched Colton take his first attempts at riding alone. He left me behind and soon realized my absence. He had done it–wobbly for sure–lacking in finesse–but complete in the process. My moments of being a proud momma were coupled with the reality of the brief jog with my Savior.

Peace came in waves, and I collapsed in the comfort of its cleansing power. As usual, the tears welled, and I wondered if anyone around me was witness to this milestone—this moment of pure and real transformation. It far exceeded the accomplishment of bike riding and extended to the deeper level of spiritual warmth and understanding.

I was learning about letting go. About my dependence on the human grip. About the loosening of my grip and learning to ride. Wobbly at times. Frustration to the point of tears some days. Falling quite frequently, yet riding nonetheless.

I privately guarded my thoughts in that moment, and now, just a few weeks before another letting go, I sit to write and reflect. My father has often said that life is about the “letting go.” Trust comes with the process, and I feel confident that as long as my trust is correctly placed, the peace will continue to come in waves.

Leaving my childhood home for a second time will be tough. This time, there are two little boys who share the grief of the good-byes. We will all “let go” in just a few days, and a new adventure will begin. Will we wobble? I’m sure. Will we hurt? Most definitely. Will we glory in the accomplishment of the riding? Well…you could ask my Colton. You see, his little taste of success…his baby steps of trusting…led him to continue in the pursuit, and five days later, that blue shiny bike greeted him as he embarked upon another year of life!

He is a good one to teach me a lesson. I will watch him and take strength from him in the days that lie ahead. Together, all of us will face our fears, our hurts, our joys, and remember the “bike rides” in seasons past that have encouraged us to launch out in faith. In it all, we will look around at our surroundings and see the Master Teacher jogging alongside, authoring the defining moments and cheering boldly for each step of our progress. Thank God for his grip that remains sure even in the letting go.

May God be with you in your moments of “letting go,” and may you sense his deep peace that comes with the trusting!

Happy Birthday, Colton. You have been worth every moment we have jogged together.

I love you!

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16 Responses to A Father’s Day Blessing Named Colton

  1. Happy Birthday Colton!

    Elaine, this post brought me to tears. Your gift of writing was used this evening to make a mom of four in California hug her children a little tighter this evening.

    I hope our paths cross next week too.

    Blessings, Joanne

    my kids are 7, 9, 13 and 16.

  2. Hi Elaine:
    I got your post. Not sure why I am not showing a comment to click on for my posts. Checking into it.
    It was great hearing from you.

    I have loved reading your posts on raising Faith. You weave such wonderful life lessons into them. Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings,
    Marita

  3. What a wonderful commentary on the letting go moments of our lives. Those moments occur with our children, with relationships, with our prejudices, and even with our youth. I told someone at church this morning that I love being almost 62 but I want my body to feel 35. I think it’s time for me to let go of some attitude! Blessings, marlene

  4. Elaine,
    You all ways now exactly what to say to my heart, I have done the letting go of my baby for just a time, and I have left it in Gods hands, to bring us back together in his time…
    You are in my prayers…
    Happy Birthday Colton…
    Connie
    GBU

  5. Happy Birthday, Colton. As a mom myself the “letting go’s” are just hard. We have been there where you are and our heart just aches for your “to comes”. But with God by our side we made it and you will too. Thanks, Elaine. A beautiful post. Happy Father’s Day to Billy as well. Love you guys!

  6. Thinking of the “letting go” that accompanies the journey of my now 16 year old…but also the personal “letting go” that God is demanding of me this week in my own walk with Him. Praying for the courage and willingness to surrender it all.

    This post made me think of Hebrews 1:12, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

    Throwing off…and letting go of all that keeps me from riding to freedom in Him,
    Joy

  7. This was powerful. I can so very much see myself in the part about not wanting to let go. I’m sort of a “control freak” I guess you could say. I freak out when I’m not in control of my life. ha It’s a place that certainly needs more help from God in my being able to let go of doing His things MY way and let Him do things HIS way! Thank you so much for presenting this so clearly today!

    God bless you….
    Marilyn

  8. How wonderful that your son was born on Father’s Day. What a great gift!

    I know how special a son can be. My son Drew is the apple of my eye too! Colton is a handsome young man. I know you are a proud mama.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Nancy

  9. Oh, Elaine. You have truly touched my heart with this story. Letting go. I think I need to learn what this is about. Thank you.

    As always, your writing is terrific. You truly, truly have a gift of creating beautiful prose with the way you weave your thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Prayers and Blessings!
    Rebecca

  10. Elaine, that was beautiful!
    Letting go is so hard, physically and spiritually. So much fear in the unknown, I guess.
    What a wonderful visual to keep tucked in my heart…..Of myself on that bike…….God is running alongside me, even when I’m wobbling, He is there! :)Even if I fall off, He will lift me up.

    I also realize that just because I let go of my own children “physically” like your son on the bike, God is still right beside them….When they are away from me, they are not alone….He is running along side them always. That is so comforting to me.

    Happy Birthday, Colton!

    And Elaine, once again, Friend, thank you for sharing your heart. You are always such a blessing.
    In Christ,
    Amy:)

  11. Oh how special…

    We both have sons born on the same day. My youngest is 17. What a special time in their lives.

    Once again I’m so blessed reading and many times walking along side of you on your journey~

  12. Happy Birthday Colton! (a bit late!) What an incredible Father’s Day blessing.

    This post was so impacting to me. How hard it is for us Mommas to let go…but how we must. You captured the beauty of that moment so perfectly! It’s such a comfort to visualize Christ, running alongside of us as we try to make our way. Simply beautiful.

  13. Oh, Elaine! How beautiful! My oldest son just turned 8 and we are working oon the whole “bike riding’ thing now. I am crying tears for years gone by for you and how all too quickly they will soon pass for me, too! I never want to look back with regret. I homeschool partly to savor the time with my boys so I might make a difference in their sweet lives and that i might look back in 10 years with joy at memories made and time well spent! Thank you for this beautiful post…May the Lord continue to bless your sweet son!