Saturday, March 14

a new season of LAST

As a mom, it seems most of my history has been full of many *firsts* with my children. First smiles, first teeth, first steps, first bed, first bike riding, first car driving....and throw in a handful of other things that are our children's first experiences which we are blessed to witness and mark in their lives.

Before you know it, these children grow up and suddenly you realize you are in a season of *lasts* as they are ready to go off into the world to begin a new history of *firsts* without you. It is a process which you see coming as you begin to help them with various things in those final days before they leap out into the world.

And you know, I've done pretty well with that process having walked through it with three children so far . It's been an exciting time as I sense their readiness and willingness to embark on the next step of their adventure into life. Yes, there's been tears that come with those good-byes, but great joy, too, as I look forward to hearing about their days ahead.

However, I've realized something in recent days....just how soft my letting go experiences have been. All three of my children have moved away to places which are within reasonable driving range. I can call them, email them, or visit them whenever I want. It's easy to arrange when they'll come home for family holidays and events. What a blessing it's been to have these situations with my adult children who I enjoy as part of my life!

Yet, now I'm faced with a different letting go situation. As I compare the previous ones to this time with my fourth, the difference is startling. Yes, there's still the joy and excitement of seeing a child whose readiness and willingness to embark on the next step of life's adventure is very present. However, this time I won't be able to call, email will be limited, and future visits are unknown and possibly unpredictable. Our family get togethers for holidays and special events will likely be without him. Although his immediate future location will be known, much of where he'll be won't and being in harm's way is definitely on the ticket. The sharp pang in my mother's heart if I think on these facts for more than a moment causes my eyes to fill with tears.

Yes, I've had it easy the other times; this one is hard.

Our family now enters into the final week of *lasts* for him. He's had his *last* night of serving in youth ministry and soon his *last* worship service for awhile in the church he was born and raised in through the years. Friends are making connections with him throughout this coming week to say their good-byes and family will be traveling over the next two weekends to spend some time hanging out. He will finish packing up his things where he's been living and will spend the last days living back at home.

As I treasure all these things in my heart as we say our goodbyes, it comes with the knowledge that there is never a LAST with a believer in Jesus Christ. There's only a FOREVER. No matter how limited our contact is in the future or where the army takes him, there's always FOREVER. And until then, this son will have a piece of my heart!

Tammy ~@~


Tina said...

I love this post, but you have me in tears. . .I just love that kid!! We will praying for you and your family especially much this week! Love you.

Heasleye said...

Thoughts and prayers for you and your family, Tammy! Wow. What a big step this is. It's difficult to imagine! May God bless him and protect him in his travels, and you as you tread new ground.

Mrs. E. said...

Oh, I have chills reading your beautiful words. Thinking of you!

Lovingmyamazinglife said...

My 1st time commenting,what a sweet post.Its a mixed feeling to see them grow,I agree.

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Tammy, you have been on my mind this last 2 weeks. I knew the time was coming and now I know when. My love to you.

mom said...

Thank you for your encouragement during this time! All prayers are very welcome! We're down to one week from today...

Tammy ~@~

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