Youngest Son is home from College. It is a great feeling to look up from the wash line and see him trucking across the blacktop with his lunch box, after a long, hard day of work. I love having him home. It has actually been three years since he graduated from High School and has pretty much been gone since the following September. About 10 days ago, he turned 21. Sometime in the midst of all the stuff that has gone on in our lives over the last three years, my Youngest Son became a Man. I am so thankful for the choices that he has made in these last three years — largely without me. He has proven that when he needs to, he really can survive without his Momma to make sure he’s doing it right. Not that he has gotten it all “right” (because he hasn’t . . . But you know what? Neither have I!!!) He has been so patient with me in my muddlesome, meddlesome mothering.
At Thanksgiving, when Oldest Son and Youngest Son were both home and Oldest Son was getting ready to go to Nepal, I spent some time wondering what had happened to me. I felt so numb. Like I was on automatic pilot. Like Mama’s illness and Gertrude’s death and Daddy’s Homegoing and the circumstances at our fractured, hurting little church had changed me so much that I really didn’t know who I was and I didn’t know what to do about it. I knew that I believed in My Heavenly Father’s goodness to me and my family and our church. I knew that I believed that Jesus had come to pay for my redemption, and that Heaven was mine someday, but I felt so bereft of any original thought, wisdom, energy and even hope.
I remember trying to think of what I wanted to say to Oldest Son as he was leaving. I believed that God was calling him, and I wanted him to be obedient, but I could not find it in my heart to be glad that he was going. I could not celebrate his Calling. I stood in the kitchen the morning that he was leaving and could not even think of a blessing. It felt like my world had consisted of good-bye after good-bye after good-bye and I was sick and tired of it. (And that is probably more accurate than even I know. Sick and tired!!!) And so, he hugged me, planted a kiss on my forehead and I stood numbly there, not even crying. Just hating it so much. And then he was gone.
I’m so thankful for the healing that God brings to wounded people. It has been an incredible comfort to realize that He knows me. He put me together and He isn’t surprised when I am unable to function because all I can see is the pain. There were many times when I knew that how I was dealing with life wasn’t necessarily the BEST way, but I was comforted by the fact that God knew how deep my pain was, and He wasn’t condemning me, even while He was encouraging me to not stay where I was. No, the process isn’t complete, the journey isn’t over, but there has been progress, and it feels really good to be able to trace the small victories.
I am looking forward to this summer so much. There are already things that I know are going to challenge us. And even the prospect of having both of our sons home for the summer causes me to ponder a bit, because while I’ve been busy changing, they certainly have not stayed the same. These are days to hold on to the grace given to us, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation (for there is sure to be some of that!) fervent in Spirit.
The one thing that I do know is that over these past 18 months, this Xanga network has helped to keep me sane. I have found such an earnest, compassionate, encouraging fellowship, and I thank every single one of you. You have been God’s messengers to me over and over again, and I surely do love all of you, even when I don’t find time to tell you!