Today is Abbie’s birthday. She’s 9. It’s definitely been an interesting 9/10 of a decade. When she was an infant she would have nothing to do with anyone but Jenn. She came to tolerate me, but didn’t like me. She positively hated everyone else. It wasn’t till after one of my mission trips to Africa that she began to warm up to me. I still remember the day I came home and her eyes lit up upon seeing me. It touched my heart and filled me with joy. Her older sister and I bonded right from the first. With Abbie, it had to grow over time (and took an extended absence – “hey where’s that hairy guy gone off to?”).
She had a rough go in many ways. When she was a toddler we noticed her speech was regressing. There were some other developmental issues as well. Speech and occupational therapy didn’t seem to be doing much. Then we threw in a major relocation on top of it all. The special ed group in a our new area was amazing, diagnosing Abbie’s issue correctly and taking immediate steps to work with her. She began to improve. Now one can’t even tell (unless you know what to look for). Abbie is a joy. She is constantly making us laugh by her “Abbieisms” and her observations on life and the world.
One of my favorite memories occurred right outside the room I’m in, on the front porch swing I’m looking at right now. She’d been asking me about communion, it’s meaning, and when she could participate. (For any random passers by to this blog, we’re Baptists, so that gives you the theological framework from which we work.) Starting in Genesis we walked through creation, the fall, sin, law, grace, sacrifice, expiation, propitiation, repentance, justification, forgiveness … she tracked the whole thing then prayed, repenting of her sin, asking forgiveness and committing herself to Christ. I baptized her on Easter Sunday.
I am so thankful for this little girl whom God has lent me. She is God’s. Bought and paid for. I’m a steward, a care giver, a teacher, mentor, guide.
Today is her Birthday.
Happy Birthday little Abbie.