Raising A Dangerous Kid

Dear Lewis,

While we were on vacation you rolled over from your back to your stomach. Usually, babies first roll from their stomach to their back because it’s easier. But you did it the hard way first. You get that from your mom.

Today, though, you finally rolled over from your stomach onto your back. Your mom and I were both there to witness the event.

To be honest, it was terrifying.

I literally jumped backwards and shouted when you rolled from the carpet onto the hardwood floor.

I always thought you’d roll over onto your back while in our bed or your crib or at least on your play mat. But you didn’t. You rolled off the soft, safe carpet and onto the banged up, hard, wooden floor of our apartment.

And when you did, you looked up and smiled at us from the wood floor, as if to say, Oh, I like this. This feels much better.

After today, my gut tells me you’ll always do things differently and in a much more dangerous manner than I’d prefer. That you’ll never feel comfortable in the safe places. That you’ll feel right at home, most natural, most alive, most yourself in the uncomfortably difficult places. You get that from PaPa.

Someday you’ll go on a missions trip. Someday you’ll choose a wife. Someday you’ll do the most dangerous and frightening thing of all: follow God’s call.

I pray that when those days come God will give me the strength to put my faith in him, and trust that he will always take care of you. Papa did, and I turned out alright. For the most part.

Nani and Papa let a 17-year-old kid move across the country, taking with him more music gear than clothes. They didn’t just let – they enabled. In fact, it was Papa’s idea.

They helped me save money. They connected me with the right people. And they never asked when I was coming home. But, I guarantee you, they prayed.

They had to have been scared. 10 years of my life I lived in vans and, when I was home, crowded apartments. I spent more time playing music in bars than participating in worship services. I made more friends in clubs than I did in churches.

There’s no way Nani and Papa believed this is how my life would turn out when I was small enough to be held in their arms. There’s only one logical explanation: they trusted that God was big enough to always hold me in his.

Lewis, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. But 13 years after leaving the safety of Nani and Papa’s home here’s what I’ve got: an insatiable love for Jesus and appetite for His truth, a beautiful wife who loves God more than she loves me, and a son who is already living dangerously. I’d say my life is still in God’s hands.

I love you, Lewis. God is already working on my faith, teaching me to trust Him with your life. Do big, difficult, scary things! I will be scared, but with God’s help I will be your biggest fan and your greatest supporter.

I love you. God loves you more.

– Dad

How do you respond when God calls the ones you love to do big, difficult, scary things? Do you squash their dreams or do you support them? Have you ever thought that by standing in their way you’re standing in God’s way too?

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3 Comments

  1. Melinda   •  

    This is a good reminder for me. I have 4 kids and find myself often holding on so tightly that I don’t trust God to take care of everything. I feel like Nemo’s dad…not wanting anything bad to happen to them but possibly keeping anything at all from happening. Even the good things. Thanks for reminding me that dangerous kids aren’t too big for God to handle.

    • Paulie Godbout Paulie Godbout   •     Author

      Melinda,

      I just pray that God will continue to remind me of this as Lewis gets older, bigger, and into scarier things!

  2. Tamarah   •  

    Love that you always end your letters by telling Lewis that no matter how much you love him, God loves him more! The fierceness of a fathers love pales in comparison to the hurricane of love God loves us with. Wow….

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