Redemption Has Stories to Tell, Laura Kate

by Andy Wood on May 21, 2015

in Five LV Laws, Principle of Eternity, Turning Points


Dear Laura Kate,

It was seven years ago this month that we welcomed you into the world.  And what an amazing seven years it has been.  Of course, there are plenty of things in this world to feel alarmed or sad about.  For example, I seriously doubt that anyone has watched the news or read a newspaper in the last seven years that didn’t contain the word “terrorist” in it.

You have never known a world where, if people wanted to communicate, they actually had to look someone in the eye and use their voices to make words – or get a piece of paper and use a pen, pencil or crayon to write.

You have never known a world where English wasn’t a second language to “Textlish.”

You have never known a world without FaceBook, YouTube, or the iPhone.  “Grammy/Mommy/Papa/whoever, can I play with your phone?” became standard conversation early in your life.

Over the years, thanks to social media and places like this site, we have watched you grow and known that you were created without a mold. So when you marshalled your forces and launched an all-out invasion on First Grade, we all braced for impact.  Fortunately, First Grade was up for the challenge. You will soon receive your signed peace treaty and will depart as (and with) friends.

This Thing Called Science

Along the way you discovered this thing called science. Which explains why, when your mother asked you one day, “Laura Kate, what are you thinking about?” you replied, “Oh, you know… flying to Neptune.”

Or why, when your Mommy asked everybody if they wanted popcorn they all said, “Yes!”  But you added, “And Mommy, I would also like to save and protect all the dolphins.”

“The earth is like a Christmas tree,” you proclaimed one day. “And all the continents are like ornaments.”  Hey, makes sense to me.

“Mommy,” you asked about a year ago, “Will you help me build an echolocation habitat clubhouse?”

“Baby, I don’t even know what an echolocation habitat is.”

“Now I will never be able to echolocate!” you exclaimed dramatically.

“Laura Kate, what is echolocation?” she asked.

“You know!  It’s like when whales talk to each other or dolphins talk to each other. Kind of like when I run through the house yelling for you!”

“Well,” Mommy said, “I’m no expert, but I think you have echolocation mastered.”

What I appreciate about you is that you don’t learn things just to accumulate facts or knowledge. You have this crazy idea that you’re supposed to do something about it.  I don’t know what happened to your crusade to save tarantulas from their mortal enemy, the hawk wasp.  But I totally believe you’re going to raise that $2,000 you plan to raise to help save the rain forest in the Amazon.  And when you told your little brother that “Downs Syndrome is a condition that babies are born with and I’m going to help find a cure,” I totally believe you.

Heart of a Child

I don’t know that you have ever lacked confidence.  What I love is how innocently and matter-of-factly you express it. Like the time you said, “Sometimes I feel like I have the best hair in the family.”  Or singing “You don’t know you’re beautiful” to yourself for an hour when you went to bed one night.  Or the time you said to your little brother, “Sheppy, I’m sorry you were wrong and I was right. Maybe one day you’ll be right about something.”

Sometimes over the last year you’ve been 6-going-on-36. At other times you were just six, displaying the faith of a child that Jesus referred to.  “In June Daddy’s going to be 31 years old!” you exclaimed.  “That’s pretty old for a dad.”  Another time you asked, “When I’m 29 I’ll FINALLY be old enough to choose a boyfriend, right Mommy?”

Then there was the time you proclaimed, “I just taught myself how to speak an Japanese!” Or when your mom called you to come to lunch and you replied, “OK, I’m just going to go to my room and have a baby really quick and then I’ll be there.”  Then there was that swipe at the obvious:  “We can make the earth better by… staying away from sick people.”

Sometimes we think you made it to Neptune because you’re obviously living on a different planet than the rest of us.  Like the time you stated randomly at breakfast: “I think my water bottle is special just the way it is.”  Or when you also stated out of the blue: “In fact, I’m going to fly to Egypt and wear Egyptian clothes and dance like Egyptians.”

Part of the Story

Just recently your mom walked in on you drawing pictures of yourself in one of your novels.  She asked what you were doing, and you said, “I just wanted to be part of the story.”

And that, girlfriend, is the, um, story of your life.  You live to be part of the story.

And this week you did that in the most beautiful and eternal of ways.  You couldn’t go to sleep (you have the same opinion of sleep that I do), but this time it was becaue you were worried about death and what happens.  After talking to your daddy for about 30 minutes about the story we call the Gospel, he told you it was up to you and that it wasn’t about Mommy and Daddy doing anything, just you.  So you prayed:

“Jesus, I trust you and believe that you rose from the dead to conquer sin. I believe you died on the cross for my sin. Please come into my heart and let me trust you. I want to live for you Jesus.  Amen.”

That. Changes. Everything.  You are now part of the greatest story in the universe – the story of God.  And now you are more than just my granddaughter.  You are my sister in a relationship that will span eternity.

In their famous song, “Dare You to Move,” Switchfoot sings: “Maybe redemption has stories to tell.”  Oh, it does.  And you are now one of those stories.

Welcome to the Kingdom, my sister, my friend.

I dare you to move.

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