This morning I came undone. While cleaning my desk, I uncovered a letter I wrote at the beginning of this school year to my son. A letter that he received while he was away at a school retreat. I cried while I typed it, but this morning I wept as I read it out loud. Yes, I made the ugly face!! I have six months left with this boy before he launches out…leaves the nest we had so lovingly prepared those many years ago when I brought my miracle home from the hospital. This boy stole my heart just yesterday and in just a few short months, a young man, prepared and loved will walk out of our home and into the future that God has prepared for him.
I thought I’d share that letter today…
Joshua Alexander Britt:
Leader…truth seeker…tender warrior…compassionate friend…faithful son!!!
If love were tangible…not just an emotion…if you were able to touch love, if you could climb into my heart and take a peek at love, you would be overwhelmed. Josh, I had prayed for years for a child…there was nothing I desired more than to be a mom. I had just about given up hope….and then came you!
You were an absolute miracle..an answer to prayer; the fulfillment of God’s promise to me. For the nine months that I carried you, you were my secret, growing quietly within me. God’s proof that He loved me and heard my cry.
You never kicked hard (which is shocking given the bruiser you are)…you were gentle and peaceful in my womb. Yes, you were my secret!! You were celebrated by those who knew about our infertility struggle, and I made a promise to God that I would always share my testimony in gratitude for the miracle that was your birth.
January 7, 1998 the words I longed to hear were said by Susan at St. John’s Hospital as she confirmed that I was pregnant after having lost a baby and being told once again that I would never be able to successfully conceive. She said “this pregnancy is happening.” And those four words were the start of my healing and the beginning of our journey together.
Besides the day I gave my life to Christ and my marriage to your daddy, the day of your birth was the absolute greatest, most memorable day of my life.
For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him. 1 Samuel 1:27
You were named “Alexander” after Dad…the man who raised your daddy. He was a wonderful, funny, compassionate man. We considered the name “Jordan,” after Michael Jordan, being rabid Bulls fans and well, he being the greatest basketball player ever, it was very tempting; however, we settled on Joshua. Joshua, after the biblical character who was hand picked by God to lead His people. I have always said that you would live up to that name!!! And you have, son!
I had been told that the mother/son bond was special and I had witnessed Dad’s bond with Ma so I thought I knew what to expect, but nothing could have prepared me for the instant love and attachment I felt when I laid my eyes on you, Josh.
I stayed awake the entire time that I was in the hospital…I just couldn’t close my eyes for a second. I held you, memorized you, watched you while you were sleeping. You were such a good baby. I inhaled every moment….enjoyed every moment.
For the first four months of your life, I stayed home with you and when I had to go back to work it was torture leaving you. The only saving grace was that daddy was able to watch you during the day and I rushed home from work every night to spend the last moments of your day with you… to bathe you and nurse you to sleep. You would get so excited when I’d get home from work. You’d kick your little legs and open and close your hands…reaching out to me!!
Another memorable moment of my life was getting pregnant with your sissy and realizing my dream of staying home to raise you and Mariah. It has been a sacrifice, but one that I would do over and over again.
I still recall rough housing with you, our sword fights, hide and go seek, nerf guns, basketball in the living room, teaching you how to roller blade in the house; I recall you literally climbing the walls in the kitchen, and how rowdy you were as I taught you to read….”the cup is on the bed….the cup is on the bed.” I still hear your raspy voice; when I close my eyes I still see you in your Bible Man costume…LOL!!! I see you playing with your Bob the Builder gear on with the TV blasting Bob the Builder. I still see you dancing to Veggie Tales and counting with Sesame Street. I still see you lying on your bed during nap time looking at your Sesame Street stuffed animals (hands behind your head) saying…”Be cool Beeyah Bird; Be cool Melmo…” I recall your first ever friend, AJ…how you loved him and looked up to him; how when he stayed with us you would spend hours in your play room (the den) with him. I recall how you loved your sissy……SO ROUGH!!! Girls are like flowers, girls are like flowers!!! The day you picked Mariah up from her crib and brought her down the stairs to me….”here mama…Ritay is crying,” you said, as you walked carefully down the stairs….wood stairs, in socks – as I held my breath!!!! I recall your first day at preschool and how I dropped you off…you were so happy and ready to make friends and I stayed outside the classroom looking in, teary-eyed…making sure you were okay…praying that the teacher would have patience…and she did. Miss Kelly loved you!! I close my eyes and remember you standing with me during prayer at IHP…always near me…in front of me swaying to worship. I drank it in because I knew the years would pass so fast and I’m so glad I memorized those moments.
I recall your first bullying situation…Spencer in 2nd grade, tripping you and you were both called into the principal’s office and how in the end Spencer became your best friend…You have an easy way about you…you always have…You have always been forgiving and just easy, Josh!!
I recall your first little “crushes…” Truth and Jamie and the little girl at church, was her name Tiffany?,,, who when I looked over at the two of you…you were holding hands during service. Hehehe (Not so funny then.!! ) LOL — you know I was horrified. Hahahaha
I recall your recitals and how composed you always were. “Cool as a cucumber”…I would say. You would walk up there, confident and prepared and knock out your piece and my heart would just soar with pride. I recall what a strong baseball player you were…how nervous I was whenever you came up to bat…how I’d be praying in the stands when it was your turn to pitch; your cannon of an arm when you’d make the play!
I’m flooded with memories as I type this…..
That all seems like yesterday and now here you are…on the brink of stepping out of our home and into your future. You have been such a joy to parent, Joshua. I could not have dreamed of a better son. I love you with every bit of my being, son!!!!! I love how talented and polite you are; how you are such a great friend; I love hearing from people how much they love you; I love how open you are with me; I love how we have our shows that we watch; I love how you love on daddy…how you two have bonded over music. If you could have seen his face when I told him I was having a boy…if you could have heard his conversations with his friends when he was announcing that he was having a boy. Your daddy loves you so much!! I love how you love on your sissy..how you call her “child.” You have never been jealous of her…you welcomed her into the family and were excited to love on her…HARD!!! I recall being nervous to introduce you to her in the hospital and was so relieved when you burst into the hospital room holding my gift saying, “here ta go mommy.” You walked right over to Mariah and kissed her head while Auntie Eeeah held her. I was so happy that you were happy!! I love your compassion, Josh. How you are such a good friend. How I always hear how you are encouraging to you friends…offering counsel and support. I love how responsible you are; how you never give up…how confident you are that “everything’s going to be all right, mom…I got this.” I somehow believe you!!! J
You are a great kid, Josh. I’ve always said that and I pray that you know that nothing can ever change my love towards you…my love for you is forever!! Even in the hard times…I love you. I love you. I love you!!!!!!!
You know I’m crying as I write this, right? J
I LOVE YOU!!!!!
If this were the last message you ever received from me I would want you to know….
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have and will always be your greatest cheerleader;
I am on your side;
You have loved me well; have been such a respectable, loving, honoring, son;
I have always and will…until my last breath, pray for you!
You are my favorite son :)!!
You can always come to me and daddy with anything…any time;
Even if I react “passionately”J — there’s nothing that can change my love for you;
I WOULD WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT:
God has a plan for your life;
You were called and appointed;
Don’t ever turn your back on God;
He loves you and is for you;
He is real;
His word is true; it is the final authority;
He hears you when you call on Him;
Apart from Him you could do nothing; but with Him you could do all things;
I WOULD WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT:
There is no place you can go that God can’t find you;
No place you can go where His love can’t reach you;
Nothing you can do that can cause Him to give up on you;
I WOULD WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT:
A Godly woman loves a man who knows how to lead;
A Godly woman loves her man to pray over her;
A Godly woman loves a man who takes the initiative;
A Godly woman loves a man who loves the Lord;
A Godly woman loves a man who serves the Lord;
A Godly woman will honor you, respect you, be faithful to you…as you love, honor and respect her;
A Godly woman will be loyal to you.
I pray you have had a memorable Kairos, Josh; I pray that the rest of your Senior year will be the best ever; I pray that God reveals His plans for your life and that you embrace them and run full force into your future; I pray God’s protection over you, son; that you would continue to be yielded and teachable; that you would hear the voice of God louder than any other voice you hear and that you obey the first time; that you would never, ever, ever…for one minute doubt my love for you.
You healed my broken heart and filled my life with joy, joy, joy.
I love you my son…..I love you!!