The Joy of Sharing

As a military mom lets go of fear for her enlisted son, she opens up to a community of supporters.

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Posted in , Nov 13, 2017

Military welcome home

One of the earliest things I learned growing up was the importance of sharing. It was a foundational subject in preschool and kindergarten. I took pride in the fact that I always got a satisfactory designation when graded on sharing. Since then, I’ve been careful to apply those early lessons of generosity to every aspect of my life.

At least I thought I had. 

But on the day my son enlisted in the military, I discovered a stingy streak embedded deep in my heart. I found that anytime he called, wrote or visited, I wanted him all to myself. I knew I couldn’t continue that way without alienating those around me, but I couldn’t seem to help myself. I even envied the time he spent with God.

So I had a long talk with myself and began to dig into the cause of that disturbing tendency. What I uncovered was a root of fear and a lack of faith. I’d let my fear of what might happen while my son was away block out the knowledge that God was always with him.

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As I began to face my fear and look beyond myself, I saw that others who loved him were also struggling. They were just as afraid for him as I was. That realization opened my eyes to the fact that we weren’t competitors for his time and attention, but comrades who shared a love for him.

I loosened my grip and took a step back. I began including his friends in our time together and felt my stinginess melt away. As I watched my son interact with others who loved him, the bands of fear released their hold and my faith returned. As the days and months passed, these one-time adversaries became my lifeline as we spent time together praying for him.

God returned my joy when He led me back to the long-ago lesson of sharing. 

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