For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
In May of 2008 I became a mommy for the first time. I had never been one to dream of having children, but, after our wedding, it felt like the next thing to check off. During my pregnancy I had grand dreams for our first- born. Once we found out we were having a boy, those dreams included playing football and I was sure he would be a great defensive tackler. Maybe he would play guitar. I knew he would be all things boy: puppy dog tails, snails, mud, and all things dirt.
My dreams could not have been further from the truth. My son hated all things dirt. He would rather sit inside and play with toys than go outside. It was too hot, or too dirty. When it came time to sign him up for soccer he was not having any of it. “I don’t like it mommy, my legs hurt when I run,” he’d say. He would run up and down the field, though, just so he could enjoy the snacks after the game.
During all of this time my prayer for my child has always been, “Lord, let him shine your light, let him be kind, and a leader for you.” God began showing me that while the dreams of his growing up may have not been realized, my prayers were in fact being answered. He shines the light of Jesus to everyone he meets with his big smile. He is kind to the kids who need a friend, and even to the ones who don’t. He is a natural born leader, and will soon lead his very own small group for boys his age.
I realized one day that the dreams I had for him were not really dreams, as much as it was me wanting to have a do-over with my own childhood. That stung. I realized how unfair I had been to try to mold him into someone he was not.
When I chose his life verse of Jeremiah 29:11, I did not understand at the time the impact and reminder it would have on myself. The reminder that no matter what our dreams may be for our sons and daughters, God has the final plan in place. He will protect them, and they will flourish under God’s plan.
These days I am enjoying this time in the transition between preteen to teenager years. I am watching him navigate the social world of fifth grade, as hard as it may be. He is as steadfast and true to who he was created to be now, as he was at four years old refusing to run during a soccer game.
Let us not be afraid for our children to be their own person. Let us trust the one who made them! He has the perfect plan for their life.
Nicole Collier grew up in Montgomery, AL. She now lives in Shelby County with her husband, Matthew, and 2 boys, Ethan and Russell. She is a lover of all things creative, including photography and music. She and her family are involved with The Just People Project non-profit ministry serving the homeless throughout the city of Birmingham.