A Military Mom Learns to Listen

How a frustrating lunch with a son heading to boot camp turned into a wonderful lesson.

Posted in , Dec 21, 2016

A Military Mom Learns to Listen

When my son enlisted in the Marines years ago, I took him to his favorite restaurant for a special goodbye lunch before he left for boot camp the next day. 

I wanted some alone time to share how proud I was, how much I loved him. Instead I couldn’t push the words past the lump in my throat—much less swallow food. So I sat, tears blurring my vision, while I listened to him share his excitement, and nervousness, about what was to come.

He remembers it as a wonderful lunch.

At the time, it felt like anything but a wonderful lunch. I was failing to communicate all the things I thought were important. I prayed, asking God to take away the tears so I could speak. The lump in my throat didn't budge.

Read More: Keeping an Open Heart

Then, as I sat silent, I realized that while the lunch wasn’t turning out as I had hoped, it was exactly what he needed. He already knew I was proud of him and that I loved him. What he needed was an outlet to share all the pent-up excitement and emotions. God made sure His son got what he needed out of this lunch—and taught me a valuable lesson. 

I’ve had other sons leave the nest since that day, and I’ve invited them to lunch, too. But learning from that day, those meals were celebrations about them, not about my agenda.

God taught me something else. He reminded me that He was always working things out for the best for my sons—whether I was with them or not. 

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