Warm air blew across the back yard announcing summer’s approach. Images stirred of sweet days when our once small boy ran from early to late and ended days dirty and satisfied. I smiled at the thought of the college semester coming to a close, returning our son to us for a different, but equally rich season. My heart ran ahead with hopeful plans for family adventures and vacation conversations. What could be better for a mom than having children close for the exhilarating days of summer?
And then he called to ask if we would pray. He wanted to spend the summer serving in a refugee ministry with dear friends. Overseas. It was far. It was long. It was insecure. Suddenly, his hopes wreaked havoc on my summer holiday. The loss of the good things I looked forward to felt unfair in light of the launch our son longed for. My idea of the “perfect summer” I unintentionally told myself I deserved had been raised high in my heart, looking strangely like … an idol.
I lay awake at night waffling between urges to hide his passport or pray for his direction. Could I find a way to keep him home without being so obvious to rob him of an opportunity? How could I get God to plant a different desire in our son’s heart, one that would keep him close to home, across the hall? I tried to convince God that Jacob could grow just as much in our neighborhood as he could far away. After all, isn’t summer all about growth?
Yes. Summer is about growth. Vegetables, grass, daylight, children, and maybe me too. Did I dare pray about how our son would best grow this summer? No strings attached? Where does your son want to go? To camp? To serve? Overseas? To stay with a loved one? Would keeping him where I wanted him prevent him from going where God wanted him?
Maybe God wants me to use the summer to let my son go so He can let him grow.
- Could God want me to release him, instead of restrain him?
- Could He want me to propel him, instead of protect him?
- Could He want me to launch him, instead of limit him?
Jesus gathered a group of young men for a journey that led to great influence. The first step began with a call to “go,” leaving their comfort zones and trusting enough to release the familiar and embrace the extra-ordinary. Was there a mom looking on who ached over the loss of the plans she had made and anticipated? When Jesus invited, ““Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men,” (Mark 1:17) there must’ve been mothers who had to let their sons go.
I mean well in my mama’s heart, but summer can easily become all about me and my plans. I long to add meaningful family memories and strengthen our bonds. Now that our kids are grown and in college, I’ve waited all year to be together again. But what if that’s not God’s best for my son this season? What if God wants my son to follow him down the beach to fish for men?
Maybe you too struggle with letting God have His way with your summer plans. Sometimes we moms work so hard to plan a healthy, happy, home-based summer for our sons, but that may not be what God wants.
Summer can be a valuable season in the journey of manhood. Adventure, opportunity, discovery, and new experience can happen. It’s ripe for the extra – ordinary and the un – usual. As our boys grow up, they have a grow-season opportunity to mature as young men during summer. If we let go, they can grow.
Has God planted a longing in your son’s heart for an extra-ordinary experience this summer? How could you cultivate that hope and how might God use it to grow your son’s heart and your own?
It’s okay mama. Let him go to let him grow.
- Nurturing the Leader Within Your Child by Tim Elmore
- Wild at Heart by John Eldridge
- Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis
We don’t really want a mocha frappe or a day at the spa when we’re weary. What we really want is rest for our weary souls. Hope in the mess.
In this free 5-day devotional series, the authors of Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess, Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker, walk you through five truths that can set a weary mom free. Like letters straight from their heart to yours, Dear Weary Mom will help reconnect your heart with the hope you really need.