Just typing these words, I’m finding a big old smile come across my face, thinking of you both growing to the age where you will be able to read this.
I’m 29 right now, but in 30 days I’ll be 30. 30 sounds so young to some, but to me right now, it’s feels old! It’s a real milestone.
It’s sounds funny to say this, as you’re both at the beginning of your lives, Abi you’re just 8 months old, and Sean you’re not yet 3… but the closer I get to 30 the more I think about what legacy I’ll leave you.
To be completely honest, the closer I get to 30, the more I realize I won’t always be here for you, one day I’ll go to heaven and get to be with Jesus face to face, and you’ll have to walk this earth with God in your heart, the Holy Spirit as your comforter and guide, and Jesus as your example and intercessor, but you won’t have me here. So, for the times you may wonder, what would Dad have to say about this… I’m writing you a blog. You might not need it now, but if you ever do, I hope it speaks to you.
Each day for the next 30 days I’m going to share what I’ve learned over my short 29 (nearly 30 years).
Today, I want to talk to you about Perseverance.
Why have I chosen this topic today? Because tomorrow I graduate my Masters after 2 and a half years of study. I know that might not seem like a long time to you, but for your Dad, that’s a long time. I’ve only ever stuck at a few things for this long in my life. I always moved houses as a kids, so change comes natural to me, perseverance does not.
But let me tell you something- when it comes to great things. Things of eternal significance, things of God and of His Kingdom, perseverance is worth it, it’s a must.
Let me tell you a few things I’ve persevered at.
Marriage. I’ve been married to your Mum for longer than I’ve ever held a job, ever been at a school, or ever kept a hobby (apart from surfing!). I’ll write to you another day about marriage, but let me say this for now- marriage is worth persevering for. There are tough times, for sure, but making it through the tough times makes marriage even more beautiful. At the end of the day you get to look at each other and say, “I love you too much to quit.” It’s just the best.
My relationship with God. It’s been 10 years since I turned back to God and really started the process of chasing after Him (although I could never pursue Him the way He has pursued me). Sticking at my relationship with God has been the best thing I’ve ever done. There’s a verse you may know, it says this, “what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” (8:36). Son, daughter, perservere in your faith. Never walk away from God. It’s simply not worth it. Nothing in this world could ever be worth quitting on God. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re struggling to persevere, where you feel unfaithful, know this- you might give up on God, but He will never give up on you. 2 Timothy 2:13 reminds us, that when we are faithless He is faithful, because He cannot deny Himself.
Loving you. I know it sounds crazy and soppy, but know this. I’ve never stopped loving you, my dear daughter and son, since the day you were born. I won’t ever stop, even as I breathe my last breathe, I will always love you. One day you may have your own kids, please do this for them too. Love them with an unconditional love, so as to model the love that Jesus has for them. You will fail to show love the right way, as I will one day too, I’m sure. When that happens, remember that your lack only serves to magnify God’s perfection. Always point your kids to Christ, for He will never let them down, and like me but on a much grander scale, He will never stop loving you or them.
So… I better go now and save some wisdom for tomorrow… but before I do, let me share three things that have helped me persevere, from my study to my amazing marriage, to my relationship with God… that might help you.
- When times get tough… get praying. God is always there. You can be as close to God as you want to be (your Mum always says that one). Pray, pray, and pray some more.
- If you feel like you just can’t go on anymore… you’re probably right. That’s the beauty of God. When we are weak, He is strong. Let go of trying and cling on to God. Let Him fill in the gaps, and bring you the endurance and the rest and the peace that you need.
- Surround yourself with people that love you, and let them keep you accountable and cheer you on. Let me clarify something about people that love you. Don’t hear Dad say, people that please you, or people that make you feel justified or good about your decisions. There is a big difference between someone that loves you, and someone that is flattering you. Someone who loves you will tell you the truth and what is good for you, even if it makes you uncomfortable. True friends will tell you to loose weight when you are morbidly obese, they won’t say you are fine… because they care about your faith. True friends that really love you won’t tell you to have an affair. True love doesn’t say something that will hurt you in the long run is good for you. So be careful who you let speak into your life. True friends will tell you to persevere, because they love you, just as I do.
More to come kids.
Son, I’m so proud of you, and I always will be. Keep your eyes on Jesus and seek to make wise decisions for Him. Know your value though, isn’t in the decisions you make, as much as it is in who you are, a man made by God, in His image, loved as you are.
Daughter, you are the most beautiful girl in the world. You are so valuable to God. Know that your value comes from God, not people. Keep what He says about you as the most important words in your life… and know that I also adore you and value you so much. Nothing could ever change my love for you.
With all my love and perseverance,