When a son enlists, a mother’s urge to be in control is challenged.
Posted in , Sep 1, 2017
And my God will supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:17)
At first, I wanted to call this blog “Coarse Correction for a Military Mom.” And you would think I had overlooked a major typo. But “coarse” is how I felt when God changed the paradigm of our family. After the terrible events of 9/11, we went from having a son on the cusp of college to one who decided, instead, to enlist in the military.
Webster’s defines the word "coarse" as "harsh," "grating." That pretty much sums up how I felt about that particular course correction. My emotions were rubbed raw.
I had weight-loss surgery recently and I developed a stubborn infection that turned a one-day hospital visit into a two-week stay. My family and friends rallied around me. Still, I was frightened. I asked everyone I knew to pray for me to heal, as Rick's post recommended. I posted my request on social media, talked to the hospital chaplain and my condition improved. When my husband had the same kind of surgery, I knew exactly how to pray for him, thanks to “6 Ways to Pray for the Sick”. Guideposts Magazine Reader
I’d known that change was coming, that soon each of our boys would leave home for college. We’d been teaching them their whole lives to be independent, and I was gearing up for the inevitable separations. But the military? Now college looked like a cakewalk. As I respected my son’s growing independence, I recoiled at the things he would have to face without us.
In turn, I had to face an issue I still grapple with on a regular basis–hating loss of control. For those who know me, this information won’t come as a surprise. Intellectually, I knew I’d never really been in control of our kids’ lives. But with this new development and my growing fears, I realized I still clung to the idea of having a say in what happened. When it came to our sons’ lives, I kept thinking: I’d equipped…I’d given… I’d prevented…
But we aren’t the ones to equip, give or prevent. God is. Oh, He allows us to help on occasion, but He was the one who’d orchestrated events to prepare our sons for life. It’s a good thing, too. My track record was ok. But God’s track record is perfect.
The verse above in Philippians gave me comfort and peace as I faced these changes. And I learned to count on God’s promises to not only be true in my life, but also in my children’s lives.