Today my beautiful baby boy turns three. Three! What an exciting year is ahead of him. When I think about all of the things Harry will learn and master in the coming year, I get chills. When I think about all of the things I will learn about him and who he is becoming as a person, I get excited. My little man is growing up, and it is such an honor to be a part of that.

I think about the way our life is different with Harry in it, and wondered what we ever did without him. Harry is our charismatic, loving, little charmer. He’s an enigma, in that he’s a bull-dog and a full-on ball of sunshine. He’s always taken his time, mastering things just a few steps behind the pace of his harry3siblings, but with such pride. Harrison has reminded us that everything happens in its own time – in its own way – right when it’s supposed to. Harry has taught us so much about parenting, the human condition, and God’s perfect plan. He might be the one receiving presents today, but I am the one that is getting the gift.

We waited for Harrison, as we waited for God’s perfect timing, and a plan that wasn’t our own. Month after month, I hoped and harry2prayed that this would be “it”, and the third child I so longed for would be on the way. I began to grow weary, as each month my hopes were dashed, and it was easy to play with the notion that God didn’t care. We’re quick to think God has left us when gratification isn’t immediate. We’d lost a baby nearly a year earlier, and were in the midst of some financial and emotional issues we never saw coming. We’d been blindsided by pain. And in the midst of that pain, God had a plan. He knew our JOY was coming.

Psalm 30:5b

“Though sorrow may last for a night, JOY comes in the morning.”

Every child is special, but I think the children God provides to parents after they’ve lost a child are special gifts. Harrison was healing. I found so much comfort and wholeness while he was in my arms. Our joy came in the form of the world’s happiest baby. Harrison was all smiles from the very beginning. harry1That beautiful happy boy was exactly what we needed.

When Harrison was born, my weeping was turned into dancing, because JOY was born. Tears roll down my cheeks even now, as I stop and think about the JOY that replaced my sadness – the joy that is my son.

Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT)

11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

harry4Whatever pain you might be facing today, I know one thing – JOY is coming. It may  not happen when you want it to. It might not take the form you are expecting.Keep your eyes and your heart open, and reclaim your joy. It took my beautiful boy to remind me that even the deepest sadness can be overcome.

Happy Birthday Harry, and thank you.