We have this little area in our back yard.It used to be lush with shade grass.Then the goats got out.Then I didn't have time to tend to it.(I love doing yard work! Put me on a mower for a few hours and I can solve the problems of the world!)Then in the wind storm last summer we lost the protective shade...so we lost the grass.And the dog thinks the sparse area is his little slice of digging heaven.Apparently Kooper has heard me complain a little about the ugly patch, so he's devised a plan.He wants to construct a brick walkway.He's got it all planned out.And with the guidance of Dad, I think it's gonna work!As I was taking these pictures, the Lord reminded me of the parallel between this little project and my son's life.He has spent most of his life in barren soil. Behaviors, habits and characteristics have formed and taken root. But what's growing there hasn't allowed better things to grow. There's been no room there for empathy, compassion, affection or trust. He's endured two-and-a-half years of battling post-orphanage behaviors. Just like this project, there's debris that must be removed.
But there is change! God has seized Kooper's heart and given him a new outlook!
He is crazy about the Lord and crazy about his family.
He no longer sits alone staring blankly.
He no longer lurks through the house.
He no longer thinks that "lying is better than truth because truth can get you in trouble."
He no longer sits in silence at the supper table.
His standard answer is no longer, "I don't know."
He is now telling Bible stories to the younger siblings he once avoided.
He now seeks out Mom and Dad first thing to say good morning.
He now sips a cup of coffee, chatting with the breakfast crowd.
He now asks of every person we see, "Do you think they know Jesus?"
When asked to draw a picture of himself, he now makes a happy face with wide open eyes and a grinning mouth (complete with braces).
If you have no idea how significant these changes are...good for you!
If you have a child who has been or still is in barren soil, you get it. And I'm sorry.
But I'm telling you there is hope!
Please don't hear me say that things are perfect, totally blissful or carefree. Not at all! Each day is a battle. The enemy wants our son to stay in the darkness, bound by imaginary limitations. But the enemy has been overcome, and our son is recognizing that. He is finally living in freedom!
His heart is under the construction of the Master Builder!
The changes we see are incredible, and there are even better things to come...
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11