Today I took my youngest child to get his Senior photos done. After he donned the tuxedo shirt and jacket, I watched from the doorway as he swiveled back and forth on the stool waiting for the photographer to get set up. I was struck by how similar he looked to his older brother who had been on that stool three years ago. Three years since I’ve stood in this doorway…
I got out my phone and snapped a few candids for myself and then watched as he leaned forward, no, back just a little, turned his head slightly, or tilted his chin up, just as he was directed to do. When did my boy become a man?
Dear God, thank you for the privilege of seeing his life unfold! I pray he will watch, listen, and obey your direction just as intently as he’s doing right now with the photographer. I know without fail, that following You will produce in him an image far greater than what this Mama sees from this doorway right now. May it be so. Amen.
As memories of motherhood, boyhood, the places we’ve lived, and all we’ve been through flash across my mind, the familiar ache of sadness and impending finality threaten. Change is so hard! But today, with a few years of ’emptying’ experience behind me, I realize what I am seeing and where I am standing. I am seeing a young man that grew up and grew strong within our family, raised to the best of my and my husband’s abilities. A young man that is smart, kind, funny, polite, and fun, with a whole, wide, world of opportunity in front of him. I’m proud he’s my son. That is what I’m seeing today.
And, I’m standing in the open doorway looking in. I stood here three years ago with my oldest son, and two years before that, with my daughters. I know more now than I did then. I know this school year will be exciting and fun and fast. I know there will be sadness at times, because the days of him living consistently under our roof are short now. That thought threatens my peace more than any other, and there will be days I cry. But, I am standing in the open doorway looking in. I can see what is happening. I know that this is a time of great opportunity for me to choose to trust over being afraid, to Lift My Eyes to the Lord for comfort instead of meandering around in sorrow, to keep looking outward at the people around me so that I can be available for them, instead of living in a closed off place in my own mind of loss and bewilderment. I did not always know these things.
Thank you, Lord, for open doors. Some doors of change are harder to walk through than others. I’m not going to lie, I really don’t like this doorway. It’s painful, and I’m not sure about anything at times. I don’t like being unsure! I want answers and certainty! But, I know that having all the answers doesn’t leave room for faith, and without faith it is impossible to please you. Thank you for faithfully leading me through these years of change with my children as they grow up and begin to make their own way in the world. Thank you for giving me your perspective and a hope for what the future will bring. At a time when I would nostalgically be counting all the ‘lasts’ – last school lunch packed, last time he rode in the car with me to school, last child to have Senior photos taken…you have graciously reminded me to look forward to all the ‘firsts’ to come and that Mamas are needed in the future, too! Soon, he’ll experience his first college class, first college room mate, first time driving home from college solo…Lord, give me control over my emotions, turning my eyes off of me, lifting them up to you, so that I will be available to love my people the way they need and the way I desire. Be glorified in this time of change, Lord. Amen.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
“…but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-4
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17