In a land far, far away.by Darlene on 08/23/12
My youngest son dropped a bombshell on me about 6 months ago. Now, there's alot of bombshells that our children can drop and as creative as I can be for thinking up new things he definitely caught me by surprise.
"Mom, I think I'm going to go to Taiwan to teach English for a year!".
My heart stopped and it was one of those rare times when I was speechless and no matter how hard I tried not to, tears flowed uncontrollably from my eyes. I know that wasn't the response he was wanting but there are just some things I can't control and things of the heart are one of them.
Over the next few months he began to make a concerted effort to spend more time with his family. It was easy to pull a Scarlett O'Hara and "think about it tomorrow" and I began to drop everything on the farm and with a single minded focus turn all my attention to him.
There wasn't a moment when I didn't see God's hand in our relationship. We had some very long, heartfelt talks where misunderstandings and failures in the past were brought to the table, opened up, discussed and resolved. It was a time of 'burying things 'dead' that had been buried 'alived'...if that makes sense.
As the days and weeks and months began to roll all too quickly by, I found myself falling in love over and over again with who he has grown to become. He was always a gifted child academically, but to have the honor of 'entering into his world' and seeing things through his eyes was amazing. Each of our children are unique, different people and we see those unique qualities as they are growing. It can be surprising though when they finally are grown and are tweaking all those individual areas that comprise who they are and finally setttling into who He destined them to be.
The panic that assaulted my heart when he first shared his desire to go overseas began to settle and a peace moved in as I learned on a deeper level, who he really is. He's cautious and wise and spends an inordinate amount of time researching and talking with other people who have gone this path before. He may not be able to jump off a cliff while spinning on a dime like I can, but he obviously can still jump off that cliff after careful consideration and I admire that quality in him.
As the time began to near for his departure I found myself having to make a conscious effort to stuff the inevitable parting, struggling yet striving to stay in that exact moment in time. I could see he was going way out of his way to make memories with all of us, putting any of his desires or inclinations aside in an attempt to meet the needs we have for him as a part of his family.
A week or so before he was due to leave a conviction began to lay heavy on my heart. It was 'time'...time for the focus to shift off of his family and to brightly shine on him and him alone. So that's what I did. It was bittersweet to let go. Actually, it was downright painful and I'm sitting here sobbing as I write this particular blog but it was time and the right thing to do.
This blog is just a thumbnail sketch of all that happened and all that I hold close to my heart but the reason I'm writing all of this is because...
This morning I woke up really early...about 5:30am. I had planned on sleeping in this morning so I was surprised when I woke up and was wide awake that early in the morning. I got up, made a pot of coffee and sat down at the computer when all of a sudden I got a message on Skype from him that said, "Helloooooooooooooo!".
We've been talking frequently on Skype which has been such a blessing. He's been faithful to keep me up to date on his adventures so far and I've found my heart growing with happiness that he's able to experience all he will over there.
He asked me if I had seen the recent picture he had put up of him on Facebook. I told him that I had not (I don't frequent Facebook often) so he sent me the url and as it opened, there he stood with 3 of his newly found friends that had made the same choice as he had to travel to Taiwan to teach English. What got me, and what I think I'll never, ever forget was the smile he had on his face in this picture.
He radiated with happiness...I could sense it even through the electronic medium of this computer. It was a smile that was rooted deep inside his heart that bloomed with a breathtaking array as it travelled from deep within to the surface.
I was stunned. My own heart began to fill quickly with gratitude. Gratitude for all the memories I have this past year with him...gratitude that I was able to spend the time with him that I did. Gratitude that I was the one who escorted him to the door of this new journey he is on and an even deeper gratitude to see him so happy.
In the days, weeks and months preceeding this event, every time I would begin to have a meltdown as I contemplated his departure, our Father would somehow turn my eyes towards Him as the emotions would pour from my heart. His response to me was always the same. He always, always, always would fill my heart to overflowing, His peace.
I have come to terms with the fact that I have to let go as the children grow up and make their own way but I have to be honest and state for the record that I really don't "let go". What I do is take each of them and place them in His arms as I acknowledge the fact that my traditional role as a mom has changed. I can no longer protect or control outside influences like I could years ago. I can however, turn them over to the One who created them. Who has had a plan and destiny for their life long before He ever created the heavens and earth...Who knew that one day they would be born and Who loved them even then.
You want to talk about peace...that gives me the greatest peace of all. I miss my son more than words can express but I know in my heart that His eye continues an ever watchful eye over him.