I love Summer! Everything about it-the warmth (even if it’s really hot!), the water activities, the relaxed schedule, doing fun things with the kids. This Summer has brought fun trips to Six Flags, the beach, hanging out in beach towns, ice cream, swimming and……….lingering dread that my son Seth will begin High School in the Fall. At times, this dread has been a cloud over the moments we have together. It’s not that I can’t deal with change. Life changes in our house all the time. It’s not that I feel old (although, realizing that my own high school days didn’t seem THAT far away doesn’t help). It’s not that I don’t like teenagers. In fact, my career focused on journeying with them in the most vulnerable times of their lives. I still carry a passion to engage and empower them. What is the dread?
I’m having a hard time acknowledging that I don’t have ultimate control over Seth’s life. I want to stop time. I really, really do. People told me that life would go fast. Even Ferris Bueller knew it. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”. I’ve gone from stopping to look around to staring. I’m afraid of missing a moment. The next 4 years will go by really fast.
As I have wrestled with my awakening to this news, the story of Hannah and Samuel came to mind. Hannah waited so long for her son; feeling heartbreak and shame for not being able to bear a child. Finally, her wish comes true and within 3 days of this joyful gift from God, Hannah offers her son, her flesh and receptor of all her wishes and prayers, up to God. She literally hands him off to be raised to be the man of God that she wishes for him. Hannah recognized, in the midst of her human bond to her son, that Samuel was really God’s child. She had been blessed with him but now; in order for him to grow up in that blessing, she had to let go.
And so that is the realization that faces me this week. As much as I like to think that it’s possible, I really can’t control everything. And I really don’t want to. The act of letting go is the process of realizing that Seth is God’s child and I have had the privilege (a little overwhelming to think of it) to raise him to seek out the life God is acting in right now. It’s time for me to move out of the way and let go; reluctantly. I pray for the dread to turn to joy.