Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not Done

“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” ~ J. Hudson Taylor

My oldest son, Stephen, graduated from our homeschool high school this past summer. Homeschool students receive diplomas and have transcripts just like those students who attend regular schools. At his graduation ceremony I gave a speech based on the three points of the Hudson Taylor quote.

First, Stephen came into my life when I thought it would be impossible to become pregnant. The Lord knew the right timing. And the Lord used him to bless me in ways I didn’t know to ask for or would not have asked for it. I gave up a lot of selfish ambitions to be a mother.

Second, Stephen was difficult to train. Not bad, just difficult. I think Dr. Dobson would have to re-write his Raising Boys book if he actually met Stephen. I did not find the advice in any one particular parenting book to work; I had to combine strategies. It was as if he came preprogrammed to outwit all the plans. When he was in school, I attended all the required all the parent/teacher conferences as well as the called special called sessions, which were frequent. Then I homeschooled and he was the sand paper that softened my attitude (sort of).

Third, it is done. When I got to this point in my speech at the graduation, I let out a sigh as I said, “Now I’m done.” My tone was serious as I gazed at my son, but the crowd busted out in laughter. I turned and addressed those in attendance and asked, “What I’m not finished?” Heads nodded all across the room—no. I dismissed the elderly admonishment and self-declared – I’m done. I really thought I reached a milestone that I don’t have to fret and worry over this boy any more.

I’m learning though that one does not stop being a mom just because her son has grown to be larger than she. I still stress out over the boy. He is still irresponsible, but responsible enough to skate by. I still pray fervently, probably more now as I have very little control over his choices. The choices he makes belong completely to him.

Today he rented his first apartment. He chose to work full-time delaying education for experience. Did he make the right choice? Well it is his choice and he has to own it. I ask myself if I drove him to reject what I pounded into him—education, education, education. Still it is his choice.

As he moves his personal belongings, I asked him at lunch (which I cooked and he ate) about his financial situation. Being the responsible adult teen that he is, informed me (willingly I’m certain) that he spent all his money on deposit and prorated rent. He looked at me with the little puppy look. His eyes begged for help, but his adult male ego allowed no voice to express it.

I armed myself with my wallet and took on Wal-Mart. I did what good mother’s do. I purchased his basic necessities for him until his next pay day. Basic stuff like dish soap, Clorox wipes (which my husband asked if he knew what to do with it), dish drainer, sugar canister, sugar, frozen pizza, pizza pan (for the oven that he’ll have to learn to use as he has no microwave), kettle to boil water, top ramen noodles, bread, peanut butter, jelly, cereal and milk.

So I’m not done. I still worry about him. I wonder how I’ll sleep tonight. I wonder how he’ll sleep tonight. So those parents ahead of me who laughed at me knew what lay ahead for me. I’m still not done, it’s just different.

I know the scriptures tell me not to worry or be anxious about anything. Can any of you give me some practical tips on how not to be anxious about my adult son spreading his wings?

Engrafted by His Grace--

9 gracious comments:

Shonda said...

Praise be to God, creator of the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 34:4-5
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

I felt such peace last night. I know all is well. It is time for Stephen to spread his wings and fly. Blessings to all of you.

Engrafted by His Grace-

MrsProverbs31 said...

Shonda, what an encouragement! Long time no seen my virtual friend. It is funny, you posted about Stephen, I was just thinking about Stephen the other day. How the Lord has answered our prayers. He is in God's hand, my friend. I am still praying for him.

Kathy S. said...

I am with you! My 19 yr old daughter is still in the house looking for full time work, and to move on. My boy is a junior and I am alot more "concerned" with his choices for the future for some reason. But daily grace, like the psalm, looking to him.

God bless you in releasing...daily...moment by moment...

Leah said...

Rest well, my friend. I bet you have raised a godly and wise young man. He will do just fine!!


Marina said...

Shonda as long as they are your son you will never stop worring about them you just need to let go and turst in the Lord , love you sister, marina

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Keep praying Proverbs 3:5-6 in his life. I always tell my oldest son...

"You be all about the business of obeying God and God will be all about the business of leading you on the best paths to take in life."

Starla said...

I can't give you any advice. I can tell you from hearing others say it. You will not stop worrying over him, until you die. Then it will be over. But God will help you through it all.

Cherdecor said...

I loved your commencement address! You are so fun! I am sure he will be fine. I know that you will always pray for him. That is what good mothers do.

DeeDee said...

I am totally with you, Shonda! My youngest is in his second year of college, living away from home. My oldest just married 3 months ago and is now responsible for another person! Our job is far from over, but God is gracious. He has helped me more and more to trust them to His care. Psalm 91 is something I pray for them regularly. It's great comfort for us moms!