Having a son is a stretch for me.

The day I met my doula at the hospital, she looked into my eyes and said, “You aren’t ready to have this baby yet, you’re too afraid. You need to collect your things, go have lunch with your husband and work this through with God. When you’ve done that, I’ll meet you back here.”

She was right.

I grew up without a male presence in my home, what do I know about raising boys. Fear of the unknown grips every tendon in my body. My heart pounds harder with echoed words from well meaning mothers about the challenges of raising boys. Of bouncing off walls, smelly socks and urine soaked bathroom floors.

How does a girl living in the quiet home of single mothering, who doesn’t like to get her hands dirty, raise a boy?

The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does . . . He is the one who should make you tremble, he is the one you should fear.  ~Isaiah 8:11&13a

And just like all the other moments that make me tremble – saying “I do”, publishing, public speaking – He hands me an unexpected gift of understanding. That saying yes, to what feels beyond me, it’s His way to fill up the sighing holes of the soul.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. ~Hebrews 11:1

Harrison’s favorite chocolate cake sits plastic wrapped on the counter, air soft guns and Camo bags pile ready at the door. We’re celebrating his birthday with a carload of testosterone on a piece of remote beauty  under an expanse of blue sky. Where wild turkeys roam, beavers carry trees like pencils and bare feet sink into wet earth.

And if I had known that day thirteen years ago, how the joy of my son would help me understand that God created me just the way I am to be his mother, that not all boys fit into the same mold, I wouldn’t have had to leave the hospital.

I came back to hear the nurses say he was the cutest baby they’d ever seen. I’m still nodding yes.

What has God used in your life to stretch you?