The rest of the story of my out of the box Nathan John--meaning--a gift from God! And so he is and was! The story of Nathan was created especially by God for me so that I could learn more about the meaning of grace, love, patience and abounding, generous love--and how to live beyond expectations.
Nathan was the only child I had who was born without any incidence--easy delivery, less than an hour from first real labor pain until he came out. The first 3 days, he ate, didn't have much crying and seemed the easiest going little one. By the 4th day, Nathan, cried and cried much of the day. When I would nurse him, he would writhe and arch his back and was very difficult to comfort. I still nursed him for a long time. Though he was always loving and wonderful and fun, he had lots of moments when I had absolutely no idea what to do.
He finally slept through the night when he was 4 years old. We finally found out then that he had difficulty with his digestion. I am so very glad that the Lord helped me to know that he didn't need spanking or harshness, but patience, because he could not help the pain in his stomach. On occasion, he would lay on the floor and throw a screaming fit. (My mother would say, "That's what you would do, exactly what you would do, Sally!)
At times, looking back, I can see that he was expressing frustration and couldn't always express what he was feeling or what was wrong. OCD started when he was 17 months old when he would become quite agitated because his shoe strings were not tied the exact same length--seemed not to be able to get over this, and had to repeat it again and again. At bedtimes, he needed to remember that we had kissed and prayed and finished the ritual just right. Now I wish I had more times to kiss him goodnight.
Eventually, I would learn about OCD and that it is hereditary, a much higher percentage of Scotch-Irish, English Heritage, (all of which we are) and ends up I had 3 out of 4 children who had these issues in a very focussed way.
I see so much more clearly now, that OCD is not an issue of discipline but of how the brain is speaking to the child (or adult.) Ends up I am also OCD but just didn't know it. I have also learned that many OCD people are out of the box, artists, think of life differently. There is some mystery in what is personality and what is physiological. But if you don't have an OCD child, you can think it is just a behavioral issue and if you have one who truly has one of these mysterious issues, you have a deeper compassion and understanding with other moms who have such children, as our lives are different in scope.
Nathan was always very creative and pretended to be heros, dressed up with Capes, swords, and wrote long stories about all sorts of people. He would arrange tents, furniture, porch pieces, places in our garage as elaborate little towns or offices, cafes or stores. Math was never his favorite and I told him if/when he is famous to hire an accountant or marry one!
Before Christmas day one year, Nathan asked to see me in my bedroom privately and gave me a long stem red rose. "Mama, I want you to know I love you and appreciate you before I get all the Christmas presents, so here is my present for you---my I love you present ahead of time!"
We shared so many wonderful memories. He liked to talk and communicate and have me listen and that is how we became such friends--I learned that as an extravert, he had a lot to say and wanted to talk about what he was thinking.
When Nathan was 15, I really began to see who he was. I went into his bedroom and saw photographs he had taken from all over the world up as a border around his walls. He had painted a full size mural on one side of the wall (with our permission.) There were posters of musicians, multiple sketches his own posted on the walls. A sword we had given him across the wall with a sign saying, "I will be God's." All of a sudden, I "got" him--God had made him an artist.
I have a feeling that many great women and men have had grand personalities because they are called to change the world. I know that most of my life, I felt like I was "too much" for people. But now, I see that my passion and drive is the heart God used to push me to ideals. Consequently, I see that other children and adults are pre-wired by God to be out of the box, bigger than life people--a gift to be cherished.
It is so easy for our culture to want all of us to fit in, to conform, to behave--but at what price? To have control but to risk the life and beauty and passion that might be diminished? To see children and adults who behave but are not moved to great feats for the kingdom of God?
Peer pressure can make us all want to fit in, but Nathan called to me to live beyond. New York Film Academy in Harlem was not a safe place for me to send him, but he was a faithful young man, who believed in a dream--and as a result of 2 years of prayer, he won singer-song writer at a conference and a scholarship to New York Film academy--much to my dismay. But how could we hold him back--if God was calling him by faith to hold fast to Him. And as it turns out, God lived in New York City and He lives in Hollywood and used him with Dolphin Tale and who knows what will be next.
But, God has helped him to live by faith, to hold fast to what is real, and to chase wisdom and to be a superman to those who need help.
So Nathan taught me new truths about dreaming, believing, pursuing ideals and waiting patiently to hear from God.
So, I wish I had relaxed more with all of my children, trusted God knew exactly what He was up to and why He picked me as the mom. And I wish I had just taken time to enjoy all of my sweet ones more, and laugh more and relax more.
I would encourage you to pursue your own story with faith, vision, and the eyes of God to see just what he created your wonderful, unique out of the box child, children and family to be for you as a message of His own values and love.
So now, it is with great pleasure I see God's light shining through Nathan J Clarkson, beloved gift from God.
Nathan was indeed God's gift to me, to bring joy, celebration and delight.
of Winners of Seasons: Theresa Miller, Casie. Congratulations!