When to Hold Back and Rest in Faith

An overprotective military mom learns when not to call her son’s base to check on his health.

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Posted in , Aug 28, 2017

Mom making a phone call

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, ESV)

It’s hard to quit mothering a son who’s joined the military. I found that when mine enlisted, my fears and concerns didn’t just automatically shut off. Oh, I knew that the military had somehow managed training young men for years without my help. But they hadn’t trained my son. 

And that’s where the difficulty began. 

I know my son, and I’m familiar with his likes, his dislikes and even his quirks. Things—I reasoned in my mind—would go a lot more smoothly with a little input from me. 

Yeah. Not so much.

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I did try to stay out of my son’s military life. And I did really well all the way through boot camp. Even at graduation, I thought I was reserved and dignified. (Turns that wasn’t my family’s observation from that weekend.) Then well into his SOI (School of Infantry) and MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) training it all fell apart.

Really it was my son’s fault. He sent me this text message saying that he’d been in an accident and was hurting. I tried texting for more details. I even tried calling him.

No answer.

So my mother’s imagination took flight. I envisioned him lying in a hospital bed, injured and in pain, with no one there to care for him. I didn’t stop to think, I just called the base where he’d been training.

Not a good idea. 

I did get assurances that he was okay and would call me shortly. I got a phone call. Terse and emphatic. 

“Don’t ever call the base again. No matter what.”

I gulped back my tears, told him I loved him and hung up. I could hear in his voice that he wasn’t happy.

The next time I talked to him, he explained that having his mother call to check on him made him a laughing stock and got him a lecture from his superiors. I felt awful. I really should have thought that call through before I made it.

That experience taught me a lot about what it means to rest in faith. Even if I didn’t have faith in the military, I knew—beyond a shadow of doubt—that I could have faith in God. I’m happy to say that I did much better as a military mom after that, but it was a painful lesson for both us.

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