Well, it has happened. Joshua is now off to a new adventure and chapter in his life. No one could possibly have prepared me for the flood of emotions and feelings I had after he left.
He will only be gone for 7-8 weeks for a Christian film making internship, yet it feels like he has gone for ever! I must be a first class, #1 wimp but all I can do is think about all the memories of his growing up. He was my "pumpkin", "sunshine", little guy... and now I turned around and he is 18 years old! I have a huge lump in my throat and stomach. There is no other way to describe this feeling of tearing away that is taking place. I know he'll be back and it is probably a blessing that he hasn't gone for 2-4 years! I get a "breaking-in" sort-of. God knows what we all need, He is amazingly GOOD!
One thing for sure, I will be in constant prayer for our precious #1 son! He was a boy and he now is a man. WOW! Hard to fathom. The time just goes TOO quickly.
I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like when each one of our children gets to the point in their lives when they get married. Thankfully I am not there yet with any of them, but it probably isn't THAT far away! One step at a time! Even though we expect, and hope such good things for them, it doesn't change the fact that they are growing up and moving out into the world, away from us!!! Obviously, our goal is to bring them to a place in their lives where they don't need us any more, where they can go on in the strength of the Lord, without us, their parents. It still is an adjustment time for everyone involved. I admit, it hasn't been easy. I am so thankful, and we all need to be, for the time, and wonderful blessings, gifts, joys that God provides. I am so thankful for the fact that our Awesome, Amazing, Wonderful God saw fit to entrust these sweet children to us to raise up and train. What a blessing beyond description. We must leave them in God's hands knowing He will take care of them. Joshua may be gone for a time, but he will be back, at least for a while, and there are the others, his siblings, here who need to be loved and cared for also. (Seven still to go/grow!)
Each step is a learning for us and them! Time is fleeting, they grow up quickly, we must enjoy them and make lasting memories while they are still in our home. Then our children can take those memories with them to carry in their hearts. That is my hope and prayer anyway...Hopefully, and even more importantly, they will take the word of God hidden in there hearts, as we have taught them to. All the effort and sacrifice will be so worth it to see them walking in the ways of God and fearing Him.
For those reading, and if you are a parent, please listen. Enjoy every moment with your God-given blessings. Cherish every day! The hardships will be there, frustrations, and disappointments will present themselves, but the joys and successes will FAR outweight them all!!!! I am sure you know that, but this Mom needs to be reminded sometimes!:)
Although I am so totally happy and overjoyed at this opportunity for Joshua to grow and learn, I'll miss him! It is a process of letting him go and it is heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, HARD!!!!! This is a time of growing my faith, I guess too. I don't think any mom/parent will ever be ready when the time comes. It will come differently to each of us, but the same process takes place. Letting go. Awful,UGH!!!! Not fun!
I praise God for His gracious, merciful ways in which He takes us so gently by the hand and leads us through each new phase of life. I pray He will also lead our Josh, and yet, I know He will! Our God is beyond Good, He is so AMAZING!!! He has all of our precious ones in the palm of His hands and they are so safe there. No fears or worries. There will be pain, yes, difficulty, yes. But thankfully, God is right there with us, taking us all through!
Again: Enjoy each day and blessing, because before you know it our young adults are gone and starting out their own new lives. You will never feel ready, but it there comes a time for all of us to go through this passage, and His grace is sufficient. Hang on to Jesus. It is precisely these times in our lives that definitely keeps us on our knees! I am weak, but HE is strong!