Hidden off the main route was a pristine lake ringed by pine-forested hills. Majestic bald eagles swooped overhead as we stood mouths agape with wonder. Their giant wing span, strong grasping talons, and tenacity on display before us.
Watching them pierced my heart with an ache reminding me of mother eagles pushing their young out of the nest. It had only been a few months since I experienced my youngest fledgling jumping out of the nest. This mother had no desire to push him out yet.
The reality of life following this ripping, tearing, pulling-away pattern became vivid , reopening old wounds as I watched the eagles in flight. I sucked in air and consciously focused on the thoughts I had been practicing. Thoughts forged by friends in Christ through their own heart-wrenching experiences.
“Don’t take his actions personally,” one friend cautioned. Young adults are in their own world. Their actions are not deliberately aimed at hurting you.
“Let him go,” another friend advised. Give him time to find himself, to learn how to manage his finances and life in general. He’s a smart kid and he has a good heart, they observed. He will realize what he has left behind and the mistakes he is making. Eventually, he will be drawn back to home.
The pain eased into the background by God’s grace so that I could focus on the gifts of His magnificent beauty around me. And the change—the change was to be made in me.
In the days and months that ensued, I learned to control my tongue. My need to question him when he called. My need to control his decisions with my wisdom. My need to demand more times when he would visit. I learned to pray more. This did not happen overnight! I am still learning moment by moment.
The next journey in this process has begun and I’m not sure how it will turn out. Youngest returned to college this fall even though last spring he said he would not go. Wisely, he chose to work only one job. Until early next year, he has decided to keep his apartment with his friend, who will be getting married then.
It is possible he will move back home then, but life and relationships will never be the same. He has tasted freedom, experienced the ability to provide for himself to a certain extent, has not reported in to parents as to his whereabouts, and has not had a curfew. He has learned to put himself first.
As a wise friend wrote me, “I think once they have managed out on their own, even for a time, they really feel like they are not part of the daily ‘family activities’, and you might have a struggle on your hands to expect many favors for "trade" of the benefits of living with good ole' Mom and Dad! A few very important house rules must be respected, and an agreement kept..... Fighting and arguing will just burn a future relationship. So hard to blend with grown adults in our homes. I willllll pray for you!!! AND KNOW it will turn out good....keep the relationship love going,”
I saw evidence of this last night as the tall young man stretched out on our family room floor. Totally captured by the sports on TV, words were few. I broached subjects with care. The air charged with tension. But he stayed. We ate. Conversation tiptoed around school, friends, Dad’s knee. There seemed to be a chasm between us.
The friend he lives with called. He left soon after with a quick kiss good-bye. And just as quickly, it seemed the bond we once shared brushed through the door with him.
But I hang onto my newfound strength in praying God’s word for him—for our oldest as well. Another friend gave me a pocket-sized version of a book about praying for your adult children by Stormie Omartian. It has been my lifeline. I have seen God answer these prayers and calm my racing thoughts—pointing out to me when I am clinging to a lie rather than looking for the truth in Him.
Life may be different. I may not know what the future holds in this relationship. But I know the Lord holds me and my sons in the palm of His hand. He who created the eagles holds the future and has a plan.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV
“Lord,You have said that if we lack wisdom, we are to ask for it and You will give it to us (James 1:5). I come to you asking that You would pour out Your Spirit of wisdom upon ….Give him (her) wisdom to always speak the right words to others, to seek godly and wise counsel, to be humble and not prideful, and not drawn toward the wisdom of the world. “ Omartian writes in one of her many prayers based on Scripture.
For anyone else with adult children, I highly recommend this book which covers topics such as wisdom, developing a heart for God, purity, solid marriage relationships, a solid future, protection.
Releasing my sons to God is bringing me peace and freedom even as I still hold my breath once in a while.
Linking with Word-Filled Wednesdays and Imperfect Prose
Labels: Christian Inspiration, Faith, Family, Friendship, imperfect prose, Word-Filled-Wednesday