Learning to Let Go of the 1st Born

K arrived home last night from his Spring break adventure in Destin with a friends whose family generously invited him to be a guest on their trip. He had the usual avalanche of stories to share: silly teenage boy stuff, complaints about stuff that he found annoying, observations about how kids who are “only children” experience a completely different life than he has (“The parents kept asking where WE wanted to go to dinner! It was so weird…”)

Then he told me about a story related to his latest passion, signing. (Not the sign-flipping you see people doing on the side of the road, but Sign Language)

As he was relaying this story his eyes teared up a little and he talked about how he felt God’s peace come over him. I know that feeling. The first time I experienced it was while carrying my first born out of his appointment from the neurologist. I had just been told rather bluntly that my baby boy would never jump, run or even walk “normally”. I had held in my sadness and fear as the doctor talked, but while walking to the car it just came pouring down my cheeks. And I remember talking to God. I don’t remember what I said, but I remember how I was feeling. Then, suddenly a wave of peace washed over me. There was an awareness of how much God loves this child- even more than I do. That He knew about K’s nerve damaged leg and had a plan. I knew THIS was the “peace that passes understanding” that the Bible speaks of and I knew it was a moment God himself had created to calm my anxious heart. When I tell this story, my eyes always tear up. It’s impossible to not feel moved by the way God lovingly fulfilled His promise to give me peace that would guard my heart and mind. And it has ever since, where this child is concerned.

So, as I watched K’s eyes tear up, I knew. God must have been creating a moment for him too. And in it, a little more peace came to me as well. Here’s the hard part about being a mom: I feel like I have to help my kids figure out what God wants them to do with their lives. Help them pick a college. Pick a career. Pick out what to wear on Easter Sunday. When K began his new found interest in signing, I viewed it as a phase. Then I worried he was obsessing. Then I wondered what was motivating all this constant hand gesturing. “Is he trying to get attention? Is he feeling the need to be different from other kids? Is he not stimulated intellectually and this is the result of the boredom? (I actually thought this. Sounds ridiculous, but the child does AP Chemistry with ease.)  I also wondered if God was stirring a passion within him for signing.

And then I knew. Those moments of peace cannot be created by us. Clearly God is at work in K’s life and has been since the moment he created him. I have no idea why God is giving K a passion for signing, but I’m also aware it’s not my place to figure that out. God will direct him, as he has so often directed me. Through His word, through experiences and through transforming his heart to beat more and more in sync with His. So, I’ve come full circle and back to peace. Thankfully God let’s me repeat that loop often as I am weak and forgetful and utterly in need of it!