We gave him one last hug and he walked away with a big, giant smile across his face and the winter sunlight slanting just so lighting him up from behind.
I can still hardly believe it.
It was a day with so much leading up to it that I don’t quite know how to describe but I will try…soon. In all the hoopla getting ready for that day I never posted the feelings I had written out a couple days before, so I will post them for now until I can get my bearings straight. Here we go.
surrounding Max’s farewell (last post HERE), but I want to remember how I felt (and feel).
I cannot believe people do this! I did
this for crying out loud! I stepped out into the unknown and headed to Romania all those years ago. When people who aren’t accustomed to how missions run have
asked how in the world you go for so long without talking to your family and
being in such a foreign place I have always just brushed it off like it’s no
big deal. It made me grow in ways I never could have
imagined and I was IN it. Sure I was homesick and there were hard days.
Lots of them.
But I knew that was where I was supposed to be and I loved the whole experience, even the tough parts because they made the great parts even better.
remember after giving birth to each of my babies how all the wonderment and joy
so quickly canceled out all the pain and sickness and worry of the pregnancy.
Holding that little bundle of pure Heaven made me want to do it all over
again right that second.
because that IWAN is strong I tell you!)
things in life can transform into sweetness and light if you let them.
thinking of letting Max leave will be replaced with something similar to the
joy and wonderment I had with my newborn babies. I have wondered if
mothers who send children off into the mission field forget how difficult
it is when time has a chance to heal some of the “missing.”
this “letting him go” thing. I’m telling
you, we got through that farewell and all the family in town and all the party
hoopla and it started to hit me like a ton of bricks that this boy was really
leaving. I had told myself over and over
again that him going away to college would make it easy peasy to let him go on
I couldn’t breathe and I could not for the life of me stop crying. Dave looked at me like I was a ticking time
bomb. I think he was actually pretty scared
world I want him to do more right now, and I’m so proud of his decision and his
determination and his preparation. But
it’s hard to loosen my Velcro grip on that kid and his eighteen years of
childhood and let him free into adulthood.
He’s not leaving forever, but in a way, his childhood is.
Those eighteen years are “not nothing” as this post over HERE by Beverly Beckham so
eloquently and beautifully validates.
They were filled with “I love you”s and “I’m so proud of you”s and
victories and joys right along with lectures and feistiness (from me and him) and my
personal favorite “I just wish you could love me just a little bit less” when
we were extra worried about things or giving a little too much direction.
There were the times when I got right in his
face and poked my index finger right into his chest with all the frustration
that could possibly erupt, the times I worried and prayed my guts out on my
knees and in silent tears sliding down my cheeks blurring my daily duties. There were the late, late nights staying up
to talk about dates, white-knuckle car rides teaching him how to drive,
volleyball elation (and deflation too), his secret handshakes with his sisters and
their glowing eyes when he’s around, his good choices, and bad ones too. The first steps he took with his big brown
eyes smiling up at me, his always-messy room, his Harry Potter glasses and the way he
wanted a forehead scar too. There was the
way the sun shone through his cap lighting up his smile at graduation, and
watching his total joy over things as simple as a chocolate milkshake on a lunch
over and over and over again, I can’t get it to stop:
(the whole poem is over HERE)
week. A miracle that came in and spread like a warm blanket with
such a peace and love and calm that my heart was able to loosen. Three things made all the difference to
transform me from my “ticking-time-bomb” state.
1) I was talking to a friend on the phone and she reminded me this is just the next stage of progression. Kids are just spinning their wheels without next big steps to take. This is a big one, and one that will change the trajectory of so many things in his life for good. Of course I already knew it, but right there in that moment I was reminded so crystal clear how powerful this whole thing is.
I felt my heart loosening.
2) I realized how utterly excited Max was to leave. It hit me when I sat him down one day to get to the bottom of his grumpiness of late. He explained he just wanted to BE there already. He was ready. He wanted to work. He wanted to get there and get going.
Heart loosened even more. Not only that, but excitement started to build.
And I believe this next one is very most important:
3) Dave gave me a blessing. That was when I recognized the “miracle” the most. The room filled up with love and beauty. It was like love was seeping in heavier and more quickly than the worry could, and overtook it slowly and surely.
I’m not saying everything suddenly turned into butterflies and rainbows after that.
We are going to miss that kid like crazy.
But everything lightened up and I am so excited for him and the grand adventure that lies ahead. I’m so excited for all he will learn. I’m so excited for the great leaders he will have. I’m so excited to see his growth and the growth of our family as we love and support him from afar. I wrote about how much I loved watching my children “become” over HERE. And these two years will help mold and grow him on the path to “become” who God wants him to be.
Now that’s pretty exciting if you ask me.
Yes, babies grow up, I’ve learned to my sorrow. And so do teenagers.
But oh boy the part of my heart that isn’t broken into a thousand pieces is sure excited for the ride.