I confess that the end of a school year has left me a bit melancholy. That turn of the calendar, the simple tearing of a page, exposed the reality of a coming change. Before, I could hide behind the technicality of time. But now, the months are printed in bold before me and I feel adrift on a tide of uncertainty. I’m not sure how to go forward other than in faith.
I feel like I’ve entered the season of a long goodbye.
I knew the day would come but I couldn’t have anticipated the speed. If I could go back and choose one moment to hold and remember, I couldn’t. There has been so much joy, even in the mundane and the difficult, that not one time seems more precious than another. If you had told me when he was a toddler, barely walking and talking, that the best days were ahead of us, I wouldn’t have believed it. I couldn’t see beyond the excitement of watching him experience his first everything. But now he is a young man who loves the Lord and is making big plans and my soul sings with delight for him even as I mourn the last of many things. He is one of the best parts of me and sooner than I had thought possible, he will leave.
And then God.
God shows up and reminds me that change is a whisper of the joy to follow.
These moments of sadness, the ache I feel when I think about him moving away and forward, are tempered by the understanding that parenthood is not terminal. There is no end, no age that defines the finality of our calling. But it does evolve, it does change, and it does require us to take a step back. Maybe it is the letting go after holding on so tight that created a space for sorrow. I don’t know. But what I do know, is that this next year we will still travel the road together but with me behind instead of beside him. He is taking the lead, learning to listen to God and figure out what makes his own path straight.
I’m learning to let go one day at a time, learning to step away when I know I could make it easier. If I’m not careful, I will send him into his future with my voice being the one he hears instead of God’s. So I pray. I pray we’ve allowed him the opportunities to fail forward. I pray we’ve taught him to seek God first. I hope he carries our love with him always.
And I pray the small sorrows are swallowed by a deeper peace.
What my heart knows in the dark is that the Lord is ushering in a season of worn knees and quiet thanksgiving. He is pushing me over the bend in my tender heart and towards the honest reality that He is in everything. He is the still silence on a winter morning. He is in the laughter that fills our home. He is in the sound of footsteps walking towards a new adventure and He is in the heart of our son.
One day very soon we will begin a new normal. I have no doubt it will sting but have every assurance of the joy to follow. If you find yourself near this new chapter of loving and launching, I’m praying for you. Aren’t we blessed to have had these years imprinted so permanently on our hearts? Only eighteen short years but enough to fill a lifetime of memories with even more to come. God is so very good.