I’ve come to realize in this season that our two oldest sons are, in fact, becoming men. I didn’t say they are “men” or have graduated from the institute of learning everything they will ever need in life (although at times they may appear and act like they have it all figured out). They don’t, but neither does their Dad for that matter. What I have come to see and learn, however, is that my two oldest are growing up and it really is happening faster than I can process.
We moved to Carteret County in October of 2006 to follow God’s lead and call. While the fact that it’s been 9 years seems unfathomable in and of itself; our 4 boys at that time were: 7 months, 2, 7, and almost 9. Now, they are 9, 11, 16, and 18. Where did the time go? How did we get to this point?
Mom always said it happens “in a blink…” and with each calendar turn, it was realized more and more. Such words of wisdom from someone who’s been through it – from someone near and dear who has walked the path before. Yet, I am not sure it can be or will be fully realized until you walk it yourself – until you endure it firsthand. And now, it has really started to set in. Last Friday night, when Angela and I walked out with Randol in his last Football Game in High School, it nearly knocked me over. So much so that I wasn’t sure I could get down the center of the band, who had engulfed the field for this special moment.
Yet, here we are. In the moment. No laboratory, no class, no words of loving warning can really prepare you adequately enough. It really is (and I believe God intended it to be) a life moment and a teaching point where He, and He alone, can lead you through and help you through. Quite simply, I can’t imagine facing these life moments without Him. I don’t want to imagine being void of His loving embrace, His undeniable presence, His life giving hope – in these life moments.
The Word states: “You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears” (James 4, v.14). Now, I can see where some may think that this is a pessimistic view of life. At one time, I may have even thought along that line myself. But in view of the context and what God is really concerned about, now I receive it as a loving warning that we really aren’t in control. And it’s o.k. to admit and confess that there are some things in life that we simply have no control over. The assurance comes when we realize that we are, as the popular caption states: “Loved by the One Who is in Control.”
This next leg of the journey will be filled with many hallmark moments. Senior Prom. College visits. Graduations (and we’ll have 2 graduates by June 2017). All of it is Lord willing, of course. But the full array is to be expected: Happiness. Gladness. Thanksgiving. Reality. Wondering. Hope. Emotionally emptying. I expect it all to be front and center. And it is my prayer and hope that in these years, in these precious moments, that my boys can say and will testify that they have seen Jesus at work, and working, in their Dad. That they would come to know and really welcome Him in their lives and decisions and paths as a result.
It is a surreal season. One which will be full of much emotion. But I do look forward to seeing how God leads and works in these next months as Randol, our little Randol, “The Chief General,” turns 18 and continues his life’s path. Happy Birthday to my oldest…you are loved so very much!