As I look at photos of Raphael when he was younger, I think, “wow, he’s really changed. That doesn’t even seem like him anymore. He was such a baby (and it seemed great at the time) but now he’s being like a little boy. We were so pleased with him as a baby—and rightly so, but oh, to be with him as this little boy is so much better! It’s so much more fun. And just think, as he gets older and more relational, it’ll be even better. I can’t wait!”

Somehow this is feeling like how growing in holiness—sanctification–should be. We should be able to look back at when we were a “spiritual baby” and see the progress. And then think, “Wow, I’ve changed (or he/she has changed). That doesn’t even seem like me anymore. I was such a baby (and it seemed great at the time) but now I’m acting like a little girl. I’m learning and growing. How I reacted before showed growth but now it’s even better. I don’t want to go back to before.”

I’m thinking of my reactions to Audrey when she first showed dementia difficulties and also moved in with us. I didn’t handle it well. Yes, I’ve grown but at times, I slip back into being a baby. And I don’t like it. I want to act like a spiritual girl—and hopefully a spiritual woman.

I think of Raffi and how we have delighted in him the whole time—even when he weighed 2 lbs 12 oz and was the scrawniest thing of bones showing through skin. We loved him and delighted in every little bit of progress. And now that he’s baby talking and saying a few words, we delight in that. And though we know he’ll speak in full sentences some day, we still delight in his babytalk.

How grateful I am that God delights in my “babytalk.” Someday as a Christian, I’ll speak in full sentences but for right now, God is working to teach me words like “surrender” and “repentance.” Words like “trust even though you don’t understand.”

I can’t wait for Raphael to know who I am in his life and to call me grandma or whatever word he says. Right now, it’s great that he feels comfortable with me and lets me take care of him when I’m visiting so that Darcy can get away a little. When I was up there several weeks ago, I went with Darcy and Raphael to their mommy and me music class. At one point, Darcy and I were sitting on the floor as he played with some musical instruments. At one point, he came over to us and even though Darcy was right there, he sat in my lap! He sat in my lap! He choose me.

I delighted in that and I know God delights in every way that we reach out to Him. God delights in my small progressions, even as He patiently urges me to greater holiness. He doesn’t want me to go back to looking and acting like a baby.