Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When They’re Far From Home…Give Thanks

Our son called from half-way around the world. He’s called my husband a few times, but this day…he called me. Say’s he’s doing well. Recovering from a cold. Enjoying his classes. Experiencing some cultural differences. Rode a bike to town on a narrow, worn road careful to move out of the way of cars. Grateful for the care package of cookies and potato chips he can’t get over there. So many questions I want to ask but mindful of the phone bill. We talk of things over there and how things are here at home. All the while I am marveling at how this boy grew up into such an amazing young man.

Just a few days before he left on his journey, it started to sink in. I mean really sink in. This child is leaving us. And he’s not just moving across town, or across the state, but across the globe. He’s reached the age of “branching out.” He towers over his dad and me. Facial stubble testifies to post-pubescence. But wasn’t it just a short-while ago that he was still a boy? Puberty causes rapid outer growth. But is the inner-boy-turned-man prepared? Is the boy still somewhere inside this frame of a man?

Worried he’ll forget this or that. Don’t lose your passport. We mean it. Don’t forget to call. Watch your budget. Keep an eye on your laptop. Don’t lose your passport. Seriously. Don’t. Perhaps the independence will grow him out of his forgetfulness. We can hope and pray.

And next thing you know, he’s gone. It’s done. He’s over there and doing his thing. He’s all grown up. But I open his closet to reveal the truth... It was just the other day that he was a pubescent boy. What remains is an amalgamation of past youth and emerging young adult.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. - 1 Corinthians 13:11

Coats, boots, caps and knives. A favorite blanket, an RC car, a cowboy hat and lariat. Awareness wristbands and a drawer-full of too-precious-to-part-with items.

And a safety harness. My husband says, “Its for working on a roof or other elevated structures. You tie off to a bracket. The rope is for how much line it will let out before it violently jerks you to a stop just before hitting the ground. Provided you calculated correctly.” Great. Growing up sure is scary…for a mom. Breathing a prayer for safety over him and gratitude for God’s call on his life.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:14

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

Thankful God grabbed hold of this boy’s heart. Thankful for family, and church, and youth leaders that encouraged him. Thankful for God’s direction in his life. He’s grown and he’s softened as he’s matured. He has a heart for God and for people. He loves his family.

He’s turned into a thoughtful young man. Thankful he called his momma #2 from across the world. Thankful to be that momma.

Giving thanks for God’s grace and mercies; they are never ending.

Grace and Mercy to you this Thanksgiving Season...

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