A Rite of Passage

Every since Caleb was born, Jack has talked about what he wanted to do for his 13th birthday. Thirteen is a big deal. It's the beginning of the transition from childhood to adulthood. It doesn't mark adulthood, not yet, but it is the beginning of a new phase- one that means more responsibility and more challenges as one approaches adulthood. It's the preparation years, the training ground. And so, for the past 13 years, Jack has talked about wanting to make that birthday not just a celebration of the past, but a looking forward to manhood- a rite of passage.

We wanted to have people speak into Caleb's life- people who were already doing that in many ways. His teachers at church, his college friends, his mentors and his family. The idea was to kind of recreate the "pathway" to adulthood. As he walked along that pathway, there would be people along the way who would talk with him, share God's word and pray with him and then walk with him until they reached the next stop. We tried to reserve several locations for the event, but in the end we used Winthrop and the BCM building as our pathway. At the end of the pathway, we had a surprise party with all of his friends.

Our good friend, Garrett, was also along the pathway, sneakily taking pictures to help us document this rite of passage. Caleb had no idea what was happening. He thought we were going out to dinner for his birthday. Instead, we drove up to campus and dropped Caleb off. Jack told him that he had to walk to BCM and that we would meet him there.

What an amazing night it was. The walk to BCM was so wonderful. Of course, I was not there, but I am so thankful we have the photos. Jack and I were waiting for him at the end for our turn to talk with him and pray with him before we went inside for his party. The party was, of course, Harry Potter themed. The cake was made by my amazingly talented friend, Danielle Lukens and it was over the top incredible. I made lots of food with Harry Potter names. We played games and hung out. Jack presented Caleb with a sword that was engraved with his name and his life verse (Numbers 14:24). Jack told him the sword was to remind him to "Fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12)." The sword hangs in his room as a reminder of that.

We are praying that this day back in February, will be forever seared into his memory. That he will always remember how many people love him, pray for him, encourage him and how many people he has to walk with him on this journey.

Words cannot adequately express how very very thankful I am to everyone who helped make this day possible. From my team of girls who helped me do all the Harry Potter decorations and helped with the food, my mom who was a lifesaver with the food as well, Danielle for the incredible cake, and especially everyone who was on the pathway that night. Thank you for loving our son, for speaking into his life, not just on this night, but all of the time. How incredibly grateful we are that the Lord has given us such wonderful friends and a community who invests in our children.

Enjoy these pictures from the day!


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