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A Letter for My Courageous Son, Nathaniel

Dear Nate,

Sometimes your quiet demeanor makes it difficult for us (Mom and me) to understand what’s going on inside your head. We never want to make you feel uncomfortable in expressing yourself to us, so we tend to keep our questions and conversations short. We figured the day would come, when you would eventually open up like a book and let your words flow freely. After all, we were both shy as children; though you might never have guessed. Especially, since I have such a boisterous personality.

You are my courageous son, and it makes me happy to see you walking with the Lord, on your own terms. I see you reading God’s word every night. I know you’re paying attention to the sermons every Wednesday and Sunday. I absolutely love that you volunteered to participate in the video ministry. God is moving in your life, son! I don’t think you realize the impact He’s making, but I see it. From tennis to track, His movement in your life is breaking down the barriers that once held you captive to a self-imposed solitary life. You are more disciplined than some adults I know, and that shows up in your academics, your diligent job searches and your personal diet. You have the favor of the Lord. I never want you to mistake it for mere coincidence.

You were four years old, when Mom and I separated for six months. I believe that was the time that you emotionally shut down. At that young age, you retreated deep inside yourself, and never completely resurfaced. Your shutdown was cause for concern for not only us, but for those around you. Teachers thought you might be having home problems. Your grandparents suggested therapy. We had no idea how to reach you, so we resorted to tiptoeing around you. We never really pushed because you were always hard on yourself. When I first noticed a change in you, I immediately thanked God for His loving hand on your life. Only He could expand your world.

I long for the day that I see you give your life completely to the Lord, son; becoming not just a fan, but a follower. I want to be able to talk openly about the mysteries and excitement of walking with Jesus, alongside you. I know that might seem like an uncomfortable talk now, but one day it won’t be.

The courage inside of you inspires me to defeat my own demons. You inspire me to be a better Dad; a better man of God. It is every parent’s dream to see their children grow up to be better than themselves. You need to know that you’re already a better young man than I was, at 17. You let God in, and slowly allowed Him to rebuild your life. Imagine what He’ll have you accomplishing at 41.

You are my son, and I thank God for bringing you into my life.

Love Dad

About Ennis Smith

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2 comments

  1. Nice letter. Did Nathaniel get to read it yet? I’m curious about his reaction. God bless. 🙂

  2. Very loving and encouraging words that any teenager would like to hear from a parent. It helped much to shoe him his worth to you and to God. Thanks for letting us in on a special relationship you are working to develop
    What a difference this would make in many families if parents would follow this example.
    Too many are rushing about and don’t take the time to talk much in a given day within the home. This would help to build relationships that may have become more distant if one takes the time to express positive and loving remarks to their children and teens. It helps to mend holes in the hearts of our youth and build up their self worth.
    We all needed to hear loving words as we were growing up to help us feel valued. To point out areas where we take note of talents or self disciplines that are of a good rapport.
    Hope others will be inspired to do the same.
    Blessings 🙂

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