May 18, 2011
A Mother’s Reflections
It is safe to say in our home, we live life. Like most parents, Stuart and I have expectations for our children as they grow up and become more independent. We want our children to be confident as they leave home, knowing the roots that have been planted are still in place, yet the wings are there also to help them fly. For me, the difficult part of this process has been trusting God as this independence unfolds. What follows is a brief reflection of my thoughts about our oldest son leaving home, and how I am growing through this process.
Our oldest child, Zach, graduated from high school in 2009. During Zach’s high school years, Stuart would often encourage Zach to “go see the world!” My initial reaction to this was “Are you kidding me? He needs to graduate high school, go to college, get a job, get married…” Often times with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, my heart would secretly mourn the physical distance this independence might bring should he act upon his Dad’s advice.
After completing a year at OC, it was not a surprise to us when Zach shared his desire to move to Colorado Springs in August of 2010. So, with a trailer half loaded of his necessities (and everything else I, as his mother, felt he needed) we helped Zach move into a one bedroom apartment, with no roommate. He did not know anyone in this new city but his girlfriend (a sweet young lady he met at OC) and her family. Talk about a tough moment for a parent. I remember our conversations as we moved Zach in over the course of a few days. I talked with him about being safe & finances while his dad made sure he knew where his tools and the nearest automotive store were. However, what I remember most vividly is the Sunday morning we sat on his couch, Zach dressed for church and us ready to travel back to Missouri, and praying together. I could hardly speak the words on my heart to our Father; I was overcome with such emotion as I released our son to the world.
Today, Zach currently lives near Denver, Colorado and started work with Halliburton in January of 2011. He felt going to work full time was the best thing for him to do at this time since he is undecided about a career path. Yes, there are many miles between us and the lump in my throat has been replaced with a swelling of pride in my heart. I am proud of Zach because he is doing what he wants to do and living where he wants to live. He went to OC for one year, which in all honesty was probably more about me than him. This transition away from school to full time employment was somewhat difficult for me initially. I think it was challenging for me because it did not follow what I did, nor did it follow my plan for Zach. However, the more I celebrate Zach’s successes and see how he is handling the responsibilities of being independent, the more I am able to experience a bigger piece of God’s plan. I have had such tunnel vision and am so very thankful my perspective has been broadened. I am excited about the young man Zach is becoming. I say that because he is in the process of experiencing so much of life. Zach is being shaped by many influences out of my control. Nevertheless, I am learning to trust God more and believe Zach has the foundation to help him navigate the waters ahead.
Today, I am happy to say I have come full circle and embrace Zach’s sense of independence. This has been a journey, and one I have sometimes tried to control. I cling to God’s promises. I know God is faithful and will keep Zach in His care. I know that doesn’t mean the path ahead will always be easy or without challenges, but what I do know is that our Father never lets go of His children.
Fri, June 10, 2011
by Gary Parnell