Friday, January 1, 2010

Future Hope

January 1 of a new year has arrived without my permission. It is a new year whether I would have it to be a new year or not. I would have chosen to delay 2010 indefinitely, because my son has graduated from college and will leave home for good sometime during this year. I believe I have the promise that he’ll be back to this geographic area, but it is the change of "permanent address" that is causing me sorrow. Jonathan will soon pack his bags and move his home base to another residence for good.

My son is about to leave his childhood home and to embark upon his life's journey. I don't know what his future holds, but the Lord knows. The Lord knows where my boy will travel and the Lord knows the path he will take.

As the title of the Celine Dion song states, “My heart will go on.” But today I’m lying in bed feeling half sick and willing time to stand still. I want my Mom to maintain her current level of functioning, my son to stay home, and my heart to be protected from further blows of grief and pain.

As I indulge these thoughts, I feel the slightest sensation of the Lord's discipline, as though He is saying to me, "Don't feel sorry for yourself. Partake in moderation of the comforts I've provided you today and step out in faith. I Am with you."

There is a gentle rebuke in this reminder. God is with me. It is never misplaced confidence to harbor hope for a future that includes God's presence with me.

Scripture: "There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off" (Proverbs 23:18).


  1. I like what you said at the end..."It is never misplaced confidence to harbor hope for a future that includes God's presence with me."
    Yes, and since the Lord is always present with us, we may always have hope for the future!
    Love you.

  2. Hope during grief is an amazing thing, isn't it. Thank God we have the presence of Him who heals all grief. My thoughts are with you.

  3. My mother has shared with me that although her children's journeys to "adulthood" were somewhat unexpected and difficult, she is able to be joyous, find comfort, and offer thanks to God for the relationships that we have developed with her during our adult lives. As children, the connection we have to our parents is largely about provision in the most basic of senses. Our parents provided us with tangible things that we could readily access and understand. However as we become adults we begin to understand that their provision goes much deeper. Each day provides the discovery of a mental nook or cranny where nuggets of wisdom and preparation have been placed. While 2009 has laid to rest the childhood of your son, God is sitting at the foot of your bed holding the best gift. Open it! Open with it with childlike fervor if you can. Because inside it holds a pristine example of the Bible's "reap what you sow" philosophy. You now have the opportunity to see how your prayers and hard work have paid off.

    Your son is already putting into action the many things you have taught him. His graduation alone shows how he has been taught to value hard work and education. As time goes on, God will provide you with more opportunities to see your "baby" act on what you've taught him. He will then pass the many lessons, stories, and "nuggets" onto his own children.

    I can say, as a child, there is no greater appreciation than discovering an area where your parents have prepared you for life. And even more so, in the moments you feel unprepared, you realize that you are somehow STILL prepared because they planted the seed of Christ's love, grace, and provision within your heart and mind. Even in moments when our parents are absent, as soon as we fall to our knees to pray, to seek the Lord, we are honoring them and remembering what they taught us from the beginning. So in a way, they are still there, reminding and teaching, even if they aren't with us.

    Just as our Heavenly Father guides us, we children still need our parental guidance now and then too. And now, in addition to an opportunity to guide, you have the wonderful opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you can, sit back, and enjoy the ride. Because after all, God is the one who's driving. Much love to you.


  4. There is a grief that comes with releasing a child. It is odd that putting down a burden can be so difficult, but when it is a love burden there is pain because the love we have for our children when they are young is so powerful and precious. Loving them and being loved by them during the years they depend upon us is the most gratifying, blessed time no matter how many burdens this love requires us to carry; in fact (oddly) it seems that the heavier the burden the more difficult the release. It is God's gift of grace that allows me to release to Him this powerful connection of love and protectiveness I feel when I look at a photo of five-year-old Jonathan. It is a necessary (but not pain free) release. Your post reminded me of the Lord's transforming power. I would not clutch the love I had for baby Jon to my heart and thus keep that love from metamorphizing into love for grown up Jonathan. It is never a good idea to let grief over what has been lost blind us to present blessing.

  5. I am a new reader of your blog, and I just want to you know that I find great encouragement in reading another Christian woman's struggles and triumphs in faith.

    My family is meeting with my mother who has Alzheimer's today to take away her car keys and tell her that she must move in with us and sell her house. I am filled with fear of the encounter and even more of the daily interactions with my mom, who is a different person than who she once was. My whole family is agonizing over the prospect of parceling out the household items which will remind us of the past and my step-dad who died last year.

    I'm your new regular reader! God bless you for opening your heart to us.

    I also have daughters in college, one of which will be moving out this year. This is really a double whammy. I will put you on my prayer list as you struggle in your grief. Just remember that God has you in his hand and will give you sufficient moments of great joy. I'll try to remember that too!

  6. PS... I just bought your book. I cannot wait!

  7. Oh Leslie, I am praying for you. My heart goes out to you as you meet with your mom today. Thank you for the encouraging words. Linda