Countdown to ‘D’ Day – Day 1

Posted October 17, 2009

‘D’ Day = Departure Day

It’s been a bittersweet day.  This morning, his pastor met with him, talked with him, prayed over him, gave him a new Bible and other gifts from the church…

Then he headed to Studio 901 where I’d arranged for him to have a massage.  He’s so like his mom; we’d get a massage everyday if we could afford it!!  He walked in the kitchen door afterward, “Ahhhh… I feel like jelly!”    My face reflected to him the smile on my heart.

As a family, we went bowling.  Yes, bowling.  Being the competitive-natured guy that he is, and taking into account that we live in Mayberry, so there’s really NOT too many options for family fun, this was his choice.  It was fun.  A family fun time like so many we’ve had in the past in a number of various ways.

We went out to eat next.  We told him, “Wherever you want to go.”  It was a tough choice, but he settled on going across the river to Red Lobster.  Um-m-m… those cheese biscuits. He went all out and had lobster and crab.

It was a lighthearted day for the most part, with moments of quiet.  Moments of him confessing with a deep breath of resolution, “I’m little nervous…”   I bet you are, buddy.  I would expect you would be… tittering now on the edge of this diving board, toes hugging the edge. And we ended our day with one of his and my favorite activities – watching a movie.  A lighthearted movie!

When we arrived home for dinner, though, it was time for a few serious moments, as his dad blessed him with what he’d written from the core of his heart and delivered with the tears of a devoted dad to his son.  It was beautiful, and – of course – we were all teary.

I followed, with the blessing I’d written from the core of my devoted heart to my son.  I was pretty teary… but made it through with clarity, my eyes and heart connecting with his.   He listened intently to us both, trying not to miss a word.  I could see him, watching that face I know so well, taking every word into his heart.  Hearing; believing with us.

I praise God, thank Him deeply, that He answered this mother’s plea in prayer this summer to “dramatically and radically impact my son’s heart.”   I wanted  – needed – more than anything else before he took this leap to know that my son was embracing God for himself – not because that was how he was raised or because that is what we wanted so badly for him.  Truly embracing God as his OWN God, his own personal Savior, God, and Father.   Then…. then... I could let go a little easier.    And I did.  There was a marked difference in my heart and mind when he came home from Cornerstone that July 4 weekend and told us, with deep conviction and awe and excitement, how “God got a hold of me!”    Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  I was stunned and… in awe… and thankful…and…amazed… My heart and mind settled with a deeper peace, and I said to him, “Okay… now I can let you go.”

But between July and October, God graciously gave me and his daddy the time He knew we still needed to ‘gently’ let go day by day.  God is a gentle, gracious, loving Father.  He doesn’t throw us to the wolves.  WE throw ourselves to the wolves, along with others throwing us to the wolves.  But not God.  That’s not His supremely loving way.

The same God that heard this mother’s plea back in July, and all the July’s before, is the same God who hears my prayers now, and will hear my prayers every day of my son’s future.  He is leaving home, tomorrow morning, embracing God personally, blessed thoroughly by his parents, without a doubt knowing that he is deeply loved and will always – always – have a soft place to land should he ever need that from us.

Pause… In the midst of this writing, he came upstairs.  He embraced me for a long time, and cried in my arms and told me he loved me, and thanked me for being “the best mom ever.”  And he sat and talked to me for a few minutes.  Reality is a harsh and blinding light. I listened and assured him, we embraced again and I reassured him, and reminded him that the next time I saw him (after tomorrow morning), he’d be a MARINE.  He knows he can do this, but he also knows it’s not going to easy, that it’s going to be down-right hard.  He just doesn’t how so – yet.  He’s as ready for this big leap off the high dive as he’ll ever be.

I’m as ready as I will ever be – thanks to God’s graciousness, goodness, and very real and gentle presence in my life.  The same presence that will walk with,  shield, and bless my son every step of the rest of his journey.

I can let him leap now – not without me taking another deep breath and shedding a few more tears as I embrace him before he steps on that bus; but I can do this.  I can let him leap now, “For I am persuaded that HE is ABLE to KEEP my son whom I have committed to Him against that day.”

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