Proud of Benjamin

Our oldest, Benjamin, finished off his final year of elementary school with a bang, winning the honor of elementary student of the year. But that is not why I am so proud of him.

We only have Ben at home for a handful of short years and on one hand it frightens me how quickly time is passing us by but on the other hand, I am so excited to see what he does in life.

I know he is going to do great things, whatever he choses to do.

I feel so incredibly blessed to be his father. The depth of his feelings, the richness of his character, and the boldness of his quiet confidence are well beyond his years.

He has won plenty of awards and recognition for his grades and character over the years. That's not why I'm proud of him. He capped off his elementary career by winning the elementary student of the year honor. Again, that's not why I'm proud of him.

He makes excellent grades and scores well on any type of test. This, too, doesn't make me proud of him.

He has the respect and admiration of his classmates, his teachers, really any that have had the chance to get to know him. Once again, this is not why I am so very proud of him.

All these things that are great and I am excited for him to enjoy them. They do please me as a father but they please me because he gets to enjoy things he has earned and has worked hard for and has desired.

What makes me so proud of Ben is his heart, his courage, and his determination.

He has faced a number of really big fears, and he has faced them head on. Fears that only he and his mother and I have known about. Some of these fears involved becoming completely vulnerable to humilation in order to show the love of Christ to others. Some of these fears have been in risking very public failure.

In these cases he never whined, tried to run away, or hide. He was nervous, scared, and stressed, for sure, but he prayerfully faced all of them head on. He is only 11 years old and has already conquered goliaths many adults never have or will.

This is why I am so proud of Benjamin.