The images rest clearly on the pages of my mind. With one hand I’m reaching back to scrapbook them. With the other hand I’m reaching out to gather more.
It’s the click of the shutter, the simple flash of light – invariably, I blink. The scene has faded, so quickly changed. The years have gone – and here are his dad and I, standing with our firstborn son as he reaches the culmination of 13 years of education.
Only a flash – and there he was, held in my arms as we stood before the preacher, pledging our son back to the One who gave him, promising to raise him in the fear of the Lord.
Soon, he smiled and cooed, and toddled around – bringing us laughter that he “checked out the tires” before he got in the van – at age 2!
The shutter clicked – and letting go began. He stood on the deck of our Bedford, Ind., home, waving goodbye without even a sniffle as off to kindergarten he went.
We turned around – his grade school days had ended, and middle school was upon us. Then, like a vapor – a moment of steam — the high school days have come and gone.
What a privilege we have had, entrusted by God to “train up a child in the way that he should go!” And even though he’s off to college – on his own – and letting go has taken on a whole new meaning, the trust is still left to us. Oh yes, it changes forms along with the image of the years, yet not until life finds its earthly end will it ever leave the picture.
Up until now, the trust given to us was much more “hands on.” We were there when he decided he was going to follow Christ. When he was hungry, we made sure he had food. We knew where he was and who he was with. He lived at home. Together we did our best to set His foundation in the Word of God, and teach him the beauty of a personal, intimate, relationship with Christ. We prayed with him, answered his questions, made sure he got his homework done, and let him know we believed in him and were confident God had a special place for him to serve. We loved him – and sometimes it had to be “tough love!” We guarded his eyes and ears to the best of our ability, teaching him reasons to avoid traps on the many methods of media always at his fingertips.
Where did they go? The years of happy times, of sad times – and all the in-between times? They are not lost. They went into the makings of a man.
Now, in many ways it’s up to him. He doesn’t come home every night. We’re dedicating him all over again to the God who gave him, as we adjust our inner eyes to the scene change.
Yet, we are still his parents; he is still our son. We still have a trust that is left to us. Unconditional love, consistent prayer and learning the newest methods of communication! LOL (Yes! That is the text abbreviation for laugh out loud!)
So, I’ve scrapbooked the memories, and am embracing the photos of today, along with my trust – finding joy as I watch my child walk in the Truth, knowing eternity is really what we live for.