A significant period of my life has ended. For the past 25 years I have been someone's "Mom" in a real and significant way. In that period of time, I have always had a child for whom I have been responsible, and I have had part in teaching, training, correcting, molding and shaping him into what I hoped would result in his being a godly man.
I will never forget when we left the first one on the doorstep of Moody Bible Institute. I vividly recall the last hugs, kisses and prayers before driving away from him. My torrents of tears were held in check until we began to drive away, and my mommy-heart felt as though it were breaking. I thought he would be alright, and believed he was exactly where God would have him to be. As time went on and he met his bride, I knew he would never be returning. That was ok, I had two more sons left at home.
Two years later, we saw our middle son raise his right hand and swear to protect and defend our nation, and later on that same day we stood at the gate in the airport and watched him leave us for Basic Training. This time, the tears were not hidden and were a result of both pride and sorrow. I thought he would be alright, and believed he was exactly where God would have him to be. Time went on and he excelled in the Air Force. I knew he would never be returning. That was ok, I had a young son left at home.
Last fall, our youngest son completed his home school obligations and has graduated high school. This past week we learned he has been accepted into college. This weekend we watched him pack the car for his trip out of State to train for his new management job. He will be physically gone for about a month and will turn 18 during this absence from us. There have been no tears yet, I am thrilled for his accomplishments and proud of the godly young man he has become. He will not return the same person who left. I think he will be alright, and I believe he is exactly where God wants him to be.
I have parented with one overriding philosophy- you raise them to let them go. These children are not "mine" they belong to God. I have been the one charged with their care and upbringing with the view of eternity at the forefront.
It is difficult to believe I am out of children to raise. It is really shocking that this fall there will be no boxes of home school books to sort through, no curriculum to familiarize myself with, no schedule to keep or hours to track. There is no one here who will depend on me to be home at a certain time, no one to check in with me... this is going to be weird.
Of course, I will always be their Mom, and to some degree they will always "need" me and we will always be connected in a way that will be unique to every other relationship they have. My main role in their lives has most certainly changed now, even with the last to leave the safety of the nest. I will no longer be the confidant and companion, I will now be the consultant and counselor to all of them.
My goal has been to be a parent who glorified God by how she raised her sons. I know I have not been perfect, or even good at this all of the time. I know I have stumbled and blundered and made stupid, selfish decisions at times. I think I did the best I could with what I had.
So, now I go forward. I am still Mom to three sons, but my role is already different. I can now begin to focus all my efforts and energy toward my relationship with my husband and to my ministry. I am excited to see what the Lord has around the corner! You will have a front row seat to it all, so stay tuned!
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 2 Timothy 4:7