Emily Belle Freeman



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My son, my second son Joshua, who I love… He came home on Friday.

Fresh off a flight from Atlanta that we had been waiting on for 29 hours because the whole South froze over.  So we waited here at home, and he worked with his whole heart.  What's one more day after 730?

When it was 7:15pm I watched the top of those escalator stairs for black slacks like a hawk, never taking my eyes off of the moving, waiting to see the boy I haven't seen for these two years.

My heart pounding and then leaping right out of my chest when Grandma Les yelled "Josh", and there he was.

The huge smile. The laugh. The love spilling out.

I didn't realize how much I had missed him these two years until I saw him there. How did we make it? And then, with one embrace it was as if the 730 days had never happened.  It's amazing how time works.  In those two years so much growing and not an ounce of forgetting.


These two, separated for three and a half years, have become inseparable.  Never more than a shoulder length away all weekend.  Their conversation picked up right where it left off in August of 2011.

My eyes drink in the reality of him.  They have all weekend.  My heart full to the brim with the coming home, the four kids under one roof just for a minute, the filling of every gap.

Maybe he is taller, they say.  Maybe he is skinnier.  Has he changed at all, they wonder?  It's when I listen to him talk that I recognize the growth.

His heart has been molded.  Defined.  Chiseled in ways that can only come from pure sacrifice. From consecration.  From living charity.

In the leaving he came to himself. He saw the definition of who he could become. He is committed to living that potential.

On his right hand he wears a silver ring with three letters imprinted there.


It's message is a simple reminder.

Pray. Read. Obey.

Every day.

He's been doing that for two years.  It's what helped mold him into the man he wants to be.

Those three habits qualify him for the Spirit.

That Spirit which helps to define, mold, commit, change.  That Spirit which causes the growth to come.

I realize that I can do those three things every day.

I don't have to go far away for two years, I can do it right here in my home.  It won't require the sacrifice Josh gave, but it will require some.  Not the same level of consecration, but I will have to set apart time.

I can commit.

Pray. Read. Obey.

Everyday.  This week's challenge.

Will it change you?





Emily Freeman