relying on a miracle… {growing a boy into a man}

relying on a miracle… {growing a boy into a man}

“One must not only believe in miracles, one must rely on them.”

So says Dr. Barbara Walker, commencement speaker at my eldest son’s college graduation this past Saturday.

It was a beautiful day; one of the best days of my life. Over the past twenty-two years, I’ve often wondered if we’d make it here—to this one moment in time where ABC’s, 1-2-3’s, and 16 years plus of learning would culminate into rhythmic chorus to “sing” to me this mothering refrain that I shall never forget. The depth and witness of this memory has seared into my soul and birthed in me a fresh perspective about my remaining days, mothering days and otherwise.

One must not only believe in miracles, one must rely on them.

Where would we be without the daily, miraculous intervention of our God? Miracles come to us, most days without our ever acknowledging their worthiness. Certainly the big ones get the press—miracles of physical healing, relationships restored, prodigals returning home, financial blessing prayerfully sought after and received. But is that it? Are miracles limited to sacred flashes of light and bold strokes of God’s heavenly paintbrush? Can miracles birth outside the limelight of the spectacular and yet still hold the potent witness of the Divine?

Yes, I think that it is in these lesser staged moments when our reliance upon miracles bares its witness most profoundly. Our everyday living serves as the backdrop for some of the most weighty miracles ever given to us as God’s children. We may not recognize them as miraculous when then arrive on the scenes of our lives, but they are holy relevant and deserve a moment of prayerful, thankful, and humble recognition of the One from whom all miracles initiate. Accordingly, I take a few moments today to give praise for the miracle I witnessed over the weekend.


Some of you might not think that a child graduating from college is any kind of a miracle. I might agree with you if I wasn’t the parent who had lived out these last twenty-two years with my boy. But what would you say about this?

What about a child graduating from college whose parents are both cancer survivors? A boy whose father’s initial prognosis nine years ago didn’t grant him much hope beyond two years? A boy whose mother heard the devastating news that both of her breasts would be removed because cancer had taken up residency within her body? A boy who, at age five, navigated the critical, stinging pain of his parent’s divorce and who has, in recent days, navigated the pain of their life-threatening illnesses? A boy who’s changed addresses nine times in twenty-two years and who changed schools eight times before graduating from high school? A boy whose anger at an early age had his mother wondering if he’d ever cycle around to kindness? A boy whose strong willfulness would have James Dobson writing a second book on the matter? A boy who had to adjust to a step-dad… to live by his rules and to learn by his love? A boy whose bent toward perfection might have crippled his growth? A boy whose introversion might have kept him behind closed doors?

What would you say about him, especially if you knew him now?

No longer a boy, but a man named Nick. A man who, now, has cycled around to immense kindness. A man whose anger has turned into humility. A man whose will is tempered by his Father’s. A man who moves outside his introversion to skillfully function in an extroverted world. A man who is willing to live with one “B” on his transcript despite the “A’s” that surround it. A man who lives, loves, and laughs with all of his parents—biological and step. A man who honors his father and mother, his grandparents, and who actively invests his energies into the shaping of his younger brother and sister. A man who loves the Lord, serves the Lord, and wants nothing more than to be a man after God’s own heart.

Would you call that a miracle? Would you say that, despite all odds, his daily reliance upon God has given him a miracle? That his mother’s daily reliance has given her one as well?

I would say so. I do say so. I’ve relied upon the miraculous, keeping, daily grace of God over these past twenty-two years, and my heart tells me that I’ve just witnessed one of the greatest miracles I will ever know as a human being—

the miracle of growing a boy into a man.

There were days and seasons when I didn’t fully believe it would happen; but always did I rely on the greater heart and hands of God to get us here.

One must not only believe in miracles, one must rely on them.

How is your reliance in miracles living this day? I pray that the witness and abiding treasure of my recent miracle will be more than enough to buoy you along in your belief. Rely on God with your everyday understanding and trust him for the outcome.

This one really blew me away!

Congratulations, son. I love you.

As always…

Peace for the journey,
Mom, aka ~elaine

36 Responses to relying on a miracle… {growing a boy into a man}

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your handsome young man and testimony of our miracle working God!

    Relying on His miracles…oh, yes!

  2. Sobbing! Thanks for a wonderful tribute to Nick and to your God! Congratulations Nick. What an achievement! God Bless you as you continue to grow in His grace and love! The future is yours! P.S. I still remember you as the little boy loving Cowboy's of Moo Mesa!!!!

  3. Thanks for yet another window into your life and heart, Elaine.

    From this I see that not all miracles happen as instantaneously as we observe them at the hand of Jesus in the Gospels.

    Congratulations to Nick, and GLORY to God in the Highest!

  4. Your are still the amazing woman I remember who can always bring tears to my eyes and heart with her writings. What a special bond you have with Nick and your whole family. God surely has blessed you and strengthened you on your journey. I am so proud of you and all your accomplishments. CONGRATULATIONS NICK you have an incredible future awaiting you.
    May God Bless you and Guide you!

  5. It's been a week of remembering for me too..our youngest graduated from college as well. It's been a year of tears for us and watching him walk and receive that diploma was such a sweet victory for all of us! We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future! thanks for sharing your heart once again!

  6. Elaine, that is a God work and miracle, what He does with our lives, with your life, and your son's life. He has brought you through it all. His grace was sufficient for you, one sometimes exceptionally hard day at a time probably. Blessings to you, ((HUGS)), Love in HIM,


  7. congrats. You and God did a great job. As a mom living with a 12 year old boy, you can understand that surviving every day is a miracle for me right now. 🙂 But I wouldn't change a thing.

  8. "trust in the Lord with all thy heart…"
    We absolutely must rely on miracles, they surround us every moment of the day, but you already knew that didn't you. What a fine young man your have grown, Congratulations to Nick and all of you.

  9. Such a beautiful tribute, Elaine, to the miracle of your boy turned man. May he continue to bring you deep joy!

  10. Congratulations to you all! God bless Nick as he begins this new walk in life.

  11. What a wonderful tribute from the heart of Nick's mom, one he will always carry with him.

    Congratulations Nick! It's going to be fun to watch your progress in the steps ahead through your mom's beautiful writing.

  12. wifeforthejourney:

    A wonderful reflection and word of witness about the grace of God at work in our family. Nick is indeed all that we could hope for and more. Perfection? Well, no, Nick is far from perfect, but he has so much to be proud of. It is my joy to have a share in this important milestone in his life.

    Lest you act to modest in the company of your friends and admirers here in blogland, let me go on the record and say that the credit for everything that is right and best about Nick lies with his mother. Those qualities and talents we all so admire in our graduate: Summa Cum Laude, 4.0 gpa over four years of college, solid Christian, multiple mission trips to South America, his good heart, scholarship to grad school at UNC-Charlotte…hmm, guess I'm bragging, I'll remember to be humble later. Anyway, Elaine you should skip humility completely and join me as I wallow in the joy of seeing our Nick exceed all expectations – YOU have such a share in this whole bit of history.

    So, here's to growing old together, (something that remains a long way off;) and watching how the rest of our tribe – Colton, Jandon and Amelia all continue to exceed all expectations. I love you; you are the best!

    ~ Billy
    PS – Lori, maybe "The Coyboy's of Moo Mesa" will replace "Baby Einstein?" Better save those old video tapes!

  13. Elaine miracles do happen! We were told not to have children because of my medical issues. You see what happened, Kristin!! She was a miracle and able to graduated alongside Nick! We are so very blessed to have the children(adults) we have!!

  14. Oh Elaine how happy I am to rejoice with you over this miracle and special event! I especially loved your hubby's comment too. As the mother of adult children I soo understand the miracle you are talking about here. Hard to find a sweeter one. The day my youngest graduated from college had me in such unexpected tears…my emotions soo mixed. The beginning for sure, but the end of soo much as well. CONGRATULATIONS to your son! I pray the Lord blesses his life with His very best! HUGS

  15. Congratulations Nick!
    Beautiful post…and I can relate to some of those miracles. My oldest daughter was walked down the aisle at her wedding with a dad on either side…that's a miracle!

  16. This is such a precious post, Elaine. My heart aches but also rejoices with you–and of course I'm looking for my kleenex! You usually make me do that! Will have your family in my prayers as God's plans are put in place in this new season of your life.
    I love you!

  17. Relying on miracles. Absolutely. What a blessed day, my dear Elaine. Miracles are everywhere.

  18. What a lovely tribute Elaine; to your son Nick, to your parenting and fortitude over 22 years, and to God's proclivity for bestowing miracles on His Children!

    Have a Blessed Day!

  19. Thank you for a beautiful post, Elaine, and tribute to your son. I love how our God works things out for good in our lives. All that he experienced can now be used to help others. Wow!

    The blog I wrote before last also testifies of God's glorious miracle in answer to a 33 year prayer for my son's future wife, Celebrating Motherhood Anew. God is SO good!

    Blessings ~ Danie Marie
    PS I've added you to my list of favorite blogs!

  20. Well, here I sit after having a big ol' cry! Not one of those "pretty" cries, mind you…but a big ugly cry!

    Such a touching post, friend. From my mother's heart to yours, sending much love your way.

    Congratulations to Nick! Would he be willing to mentor Bo? 😉

  21. Wonderful tribute… not only to your son… but to your Father. Yes, truly a miracle. Makes me think and wonder about my own little man-child. Blessings!

  22. What a glorious day! Congratulations for sure but Amen to God's work. blessings, marlene

  23. Oh yeah! I think that would qualify for a miracle! 🙂 Congratulations!

    I still see the miracle in my grown children most every time I'm around them!

    Love you Elaine!


  24. Incredibly beautiful, Elaine! Congratulations to Nick and your family…and thanks to God who provides miracles every day!

    Living for Him & relying on His miracles, Joan

  25. I have visited your blog and enjoyed it very much. It has a great inspiration.

    Would you like to visit my weblog which I created about 7 months ago?

    My wife and I are Iranian and live in the UK. We love Jesus and our weblog is mostly about our Lord. Since we are Iranian we have added some Persian topics to the weblog, but you can read and watch English ones.

    Our weblog is

    God Bless,


  26. Oh, Elaine – such a beautiful way to honor your very special son! I'm in tears – both for the love you have for your son, and for how your post touched this heart of a mother with two sons.

    God's miracles do surround us all the time. And I so appreciate that you made me stop today and think about some of them…

    Congratulations to Nick (and to you) – and may God continue to richly bless our boys who have become men!


  27. Congrats to your precious son. I have missed you, and your inspiring blog. You are truly a beautiful miracle, I love you.

  28. Praise the Lord!!! i'm so proud and he's not even my son. congratulations to Nick and to you!

  29. Congratulations. I heard from a mother, a few weeks ago, with four grown boys who are all college graduates. I asked her what one piece of advice she would offer. She said "keep them alive".

  30. Beautiful miracles Elaine and what wonderful blessings you've been given. So much to be thankful for! Congratulations to Nick!
    – – –

    (p.s…your info with all the b.c. treatment info, etc is already helping. My friend just sent me this e-mai:

    Thank you, Lorraine! I already picked up a helpful piece of information about that shot I have to have on Thursday. I didn't have any leg pain when I had to have daily shots last time. I'm betting it's because of the Claritin. I will spend time on this website too when I'm home over the next two days. People who do a service like helping a cancer treatment patient like me are amazing people Love, Gail)

  31. Elaine
    That was beautiful! What a precious tribute to Nick and what God will do through us.
    Congratulations Nick & family!
    What a great accomplishment! Weehaw!

  32. It seems like yesterday I was reading your post about his going away to college. What a time for rejoicing.

    So happy for you friend.

    I always love reading your mom-heart.

  33. Congratulations to your handsome son and may this next chapter of his life be even better as God continues to grow and mature him into all that He's purposed him to be!

    Blessings and peace!

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