Unbelievable that a whole summer has passed by and we are once again looking into the face of autumn. What a face it is this year, glorious russets, reds and yellows splashed against the dark emerald of evergreens. Several times in the last weeks, my breath was taken away by the views on my daily drives. However, this year the autumn is more meaningful to me for some reason.
We recently took son #2 to college (http://www.calbaptist.edu/about/) in California, a LONG ways from home. It was an emotional ride and I am just now beginning to see the reason it was so hard.
When we took our first son to college we took him to the first university I attended, just paces from the dorm I stayed in and loved 30 years ago. His choice in a college was just an hour or so from home. (http://www.colostate.edu/). So, I did not feel like he was really leaving, just getting a new room in my “other” home. Also, Ft. Collins is on the way to our little motel so I would stop and visit as I went by often.
On the other hand, California is a fer piece from family and hearth. And, it is California, with earthquakes and so many people, twelve lane highways careening at a break neck speeds, and, and…well you get the idea.
In the weeks after we returned from the drop off, I was at our motel alone. Micah (son #3) and Mom-in-love Muff had gone home for school to start and Dave was holding down that fort (poor guy) while I finished the busiest month of the motel and closed her down for winter. I had some time to think and muse on the last 20+ years with my family. The weather was turning to fall, which for some reason always makes me long for home and the days when our kids were young.
Satan attacked with a vengeance, whispering in my ear the lines any mother post launch of a child dreads to hear. Questioning my parenting, our home environment and how we raised them up. For two weeks, I was devastated. I listened to those lies; because in every lie of the enemy there is a thread of truth dating clear back to the garden with Eve. He brought events to mind that I regret over the years and a parade of things I wish I had done differently flashed in my mind, even in my dreams.
Finally, my good friend Charlene called to check on me. I shared with her what was happening. She was there for most of those years and knew the inside story of most all the stories. She immediately identified it as an attack from the enemy. She pointed out that our boys had parents who love them and cared for them. She said we provided all we could and reminded me that GOD will use anything that we did wrong to grow them into the men He will call them to be. She reminded me that GOD is in control not me. She pointed out that most importantly we introduced each of them to JESUS, lover of their souls. What a gift that conversation was. We prayed, and after she hung up, I prayed again. I asked GOD to use any of the things we did wrong, any generational curse we kept going to stop with this generation. I was exhausted, not just from the 16-hour workdays at the motel, but from the emotional roller coaster I had just ridden for weeks.
Autumn is in full swing here and I am back at home. Seeing the beauty GOD creates, I noticed that the backdrop of the dark colored evergreens makes it more beautiful. I am praying as I have for years that our boys remember the good things about their childhoods. I remembered that hidden in the colors of fall and death of the season is the promise of spring and a new chapter in our lives.
The truth that life is but a breath and we are here for such a short ride is becoming more and more obvious to me these days. I am thankful for friends He has placed in my life to help me ride the waves and for the dear children He entrusted to our care so many years ago. AND- I am in constant prayer for ALL OUR CHILDREN, yours too. :0)
Check out this video by Trace Adkins and if you still have babies at home…enjoy every minute. These are the memories you will cherish in years to come.