How can you explain the love that flows through you when you hold your firstborn baby? Joy and love bursts in your heart when your baby is born and placed in your arms, erasing the pain you felt at child birth. A mixture of pain and joy. Your heart is full and your eyes are fixed upon the sweet baby. What a grand responsibility to train and teach this child diligently and to lead this little one to Christ. The joy of the first smile, first time he says mama, first steps. The pain of the first inconsolable cries, the first of many falls, the first stitches. The joy of the first time driving, learning how read, high school graduation. The joy and sorrow of the first time leaving home. All these firsts, bring both joy and sorrow mixed together. Motherhood!
Jesse Ezra Leake, my first born, turned 28 years old this year. I truly remember his birth as if it was yesterday. People told me to enjoy him because he will grow so fast! This was more true than I could have imagined. Jesse was a good baby and grew to be a sweet little boy full of joy. He loved to learn and he loved people. His mind continually took in all his surroundings with excitement and interest.
Jesse was active and had fun running, playing, climbing trees, singing at the top of his lungs, even singing himself to sleep! He loved to learn and was very observant. He enjoyed watching birds and drawing them accurately. He made model airplanes to scale. He loved numbers and statistics and memorized easily. He was very adventurous. I had to learn to let go early as I looked out my window to see Jesse as a young boy, high in a tree. As he got older he just went higher, taking a tape measure with him as he shimmied up trees to measure them 75-80 feet high with the help of his brothers. They would also climb to the tops of little ones to swing from tree to tree like monkeys! Jesse was a born leader, whether it was building forts or making pizza or getting his siblings to do their chores when I wasn't home. I could always count on him. He carried a heavy load as the oldest child. It was such a blessing to know I could depend on him when I left him in charge of his younger sibling. I remember the day we brought him to college. I cried most of the way home. Letting your child go so he can grow is hard. I treasure the memories of when he was a babe and thank God for his life.
Jesse has grown to be a strong, confident, hard working, happy, responsible, dependable, intelligent and adventurous fine young man with many admirable qualities. I thank God for all He has done in Jesse's life and look forward to all the tomorrows God gives. The memories are many and my heart is full of thanksgiving! My children will always be in my heart and I will never let them go in that sense. But I had to learn, starting with my firstborn, to let him go, to grow into the man of God he was made to be. So much has passed during these 28 years, in his life and in mine. As a mother I have failed too may times to count. I am thankful for a God who never fails. Many times I was not there for Jesse when he needed me. I praise God that He never leaves us or forsakes us. Behold I am with you always. Many times my love was not enough and was full of selfishness. I praise God that His love is perfect and everlasting. Many times I have been sinful, unkind and hurtful. I praise God that He is faithful to forgive. God is holy and just and sent His only begotten son to die for our sins and give us His righteousness. I have learned we don't always have tomorrow. I have learned that just as God has put our baby in our arms when they are newborn, that they never left the arms of God and that God holds them in the palm of His hand. I have learned I have to let my children walk their own walk and grow physically, and spiritually on their own. I have to continually pray and give Jesse to God. I am confident that God never lets him go. I can pray, trusting the all powerful God to take care of my children. It is hard to give them up. When our son Micah got leukemia I really thought God would heal him and He didn't. Giving up Mich 9 years ago today was the hardest thing I have ever done. I miss him so much. God knows what it means to give up your son. For after all, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall never die but have everlasting life. I am confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in them will continue till the day of Jesus Christ. This year on November 2, 2014 I also gave up my son Josiah to be the husband of a beautiful young lady who loves Jesus. Cindy is precious and we are so excited to be gaining a daughter in law. I will continue to pray and do all that God gives me to do to help my children grow and learn to love, enjoy and glorify God forever. They do not belong to me, they belong to God. They are safe in His care always and He is able and faithful. Truth be told I am still learning to trust God with my children but I know He is the perfect parent and Savior. He is in control!
Jesse Ezra Leake. I am so proud of the man you have become. What a joy you are to me. My heart is still overflowing with love greater than I could imagine. Yet God's love for you is even greater. He is living water. He is the bread of life. The depths of God's love are so deep and never ending. His love will never fail you. He will never g
ive up on you, His love never runs out and He will never let you go. May you always drink of His love and be full of His life everlasting.
I love you. Happy birthday!