Sunday, July 15, 2012

lessons in letting go...

Both of my boys left for church camp today.  BOTH of them.
                               (why, yes, my son does have blue hair.  Team spirit!)

 Josh, my oldest, is a pro at this week-long camp thing.  Between his stint in scouts and other church camps, this is not his first time away.  Jake, however, has never been away to camp.  He is a ball of nervousness and excitement!

       (my oldest is a MUCH happier person than it looks; just not when a camera is around)

While I have my fleeting mom moments of worry, I couldn't be happier for both of my boys to experience this time with God, time with great friends and great leaders/friends in our church. I hand them over to people I trust and who love my children and care about them... as a family should.  In reality, though, I hand them over into God's hands.  He will protect, lead and stretch all of us this week.   I am excited for them for I wait expectantly to see how God will use this week.

            Josh and one of the leaders, an amazing woman of God, teasing him!  Love it!

                                              Our awesome youth pastor!  He rocks!

          Jake, his friends, and the great camp counselors from our church!  Great group of people!

My prayer for both boys is for friendships as deep as David and Jonathan forming on this trip.

I pray for  faith as solid and un-moving as Peter and Paul's.  I pray for the godly examples that are the adults that have sacrificed their time to help my children know Him better. I know my life was forever changed by a persistent youth pastor and his wife.  I pray that they return home with a renewed heart that responds "I am here" as Samuel did. Mostly, though, that they would unashamedly bow before the One who formed them and saved them and that, whether all or none go with them, they'd desire to go it alone, anyway.

I am confident that they will both have a memorable time and I hope, life-changing.

Yet, this mama, through these little experiences like this, is learning to let go.  I'll be honest.. it's sad and a little painful.. similar to lifting a band-aid off skin very slowly.  It is easy to forget in their little years that our purpose as parents is to train them to leave us, to "Go into the world...".  The world says our goal is to raise them to be successful but God says our goal is to teach them to be followers and fishers of men.  The success part, I'll leave that to God to handle.

So while it stings a little, I must remember that the boys are not truly mine.  They don't truly belong to me.  They belong to Him.  I could snatch them out of His hands and bubble wrap them and never let them out of my sight or experience life but I know I would only accomplish stunting and debilitating them. Trust me, I've tried this a few times.  Major parenting fail here.  Don't try this approach!  Besides, a mother's heart isn't to hurt or hinder her children but we must be careful our parenting tactics don't do that very thing.  I know my heart is not to handicap my boys from the life they were called to live... I want to help them achieve it.  And that begins... by letting go.

In all truth, though, my mom heart aches.. not to keep them home with me (ok, maybe a little) but to slow down my time with them! It is speeding by so fast.  It seems like just yesterday I was teaching Jake to talk and helping him walk and now, he walks out the door, away from me and Chris, on his own.

 And this is a great thing.  It really it is.  Josh has these deep thoughts and opinions that he came up with ALL ON HIS OWN!  When did that happen?!  :)

 So, while I stay behind and fill my days with overdo tasks and some overdue rest and relaxation, I know confidently that when I let go and let God take over, amazing things are going to happen!  My prayer is that my boys will be forever changed this week as they meet Him in a new environment and in new ways!
                                    First time at camp; last one to leave!  Love, love my boys!

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