I agonized over whether to blog this or not. I considered the privacy of our family. The confidentiality of my son. The acquaintances who may have elevated our family too much and will be crushed to read this. The close family members and friends who love this child.
But I decided after wrestling with the fear of man and trying to predict the possible fallout of sharing this family situation, to just be honest, let the truth speak for itself and I pray, most of all, that someone out there reading who has been down this road will feel less alone in just a few moments.
ONE OF MY SONS RAN AWAY FROM HOME
Just a couple of days ago, issues that had been boiling beneath the surface for years came to an I-can't-take-it-anymore pinnacle. On both sides.
He packed and he left.
He is technically an adult but he is not ready for the world. He lacks some very crucial skills - like the ability to think of the feelings of others or the strength to stand firm in the face of temptation and peer pressure. Likely, some of that lack is the fault of our own parenting. It is also the fault of his own choices and years of orphanhood and maybe even our life on the mission field.
We told ourselves that the formula we used for parenting was a great one.
We still believe it is. We tried to point all of our children to Jesus at every opportunity.
We prayed for them. We PRAY for them. We try to be good examples to them although we
know we fall so short so often.
So as we serve orphans and abandoned children - street children - we are aware that our own "adult" son is probably living a life that would qualify him for services under some other ministry in our town. My mind runs away with me as I consider the things he is probably participating in. My heart breaks. His innocence. His safety. His future.
But, ultimately, is not about ME. None of this is and none of this ever was.
I am a mother and I "mothered" him. I liked to believe that the allegiance of a mother, her listening ear and her helping hands can undo the years of not being anyone's son in a permanent way. But again, that makes his life choices about me and they aren't.
They are about his trust in his Heavenly Father and his willingness to humble himself in the sight of the Lord.
They are about understanding that our God is a jealous God and a consuming fire in the same fashion that he is a loving father and a faithful friend.
This son has been taught the truth of God for many years. Long before we adopted him. He has been loved, taken care of, provided for, guided and helped to choose a course for his future. But that has been rejected in favor of going his own way.
It feels a bit like a death but a lot more like a lesson. How often are we "prodigal" before our father? How many times have we taken all of his love and care for granted and been angry at Him for not simply footing the bill and allowing us to do whatever we please? I know I have treated God this way. Many times. It hits home in a new way now. I have said, in effect "thanks for all the blessings, now leave me alone while I do whatever I want and try NOT to think of how it makes you feel."
But in the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, I am NOT like the father.
I do not want my son back.
That sounds awful, I realize. I am not saying I don't EVER want him back but I don't want him to come back and be the same. I am praying that the son who comes home is NOT the same as when he left. That he is humble. And contrite. And grasps the depth of forgiveness that will be extended to him.
And it will.
But while I am praying for HIM to be these things. I want to be these things. Lord, let me be humble and contrite. Show us where our own fault in this lies. Most of all, let this - yes - even THIS bring glory to your magnificent name! Holy. Sovereign. And Good.
It can and it will. In HIS way. In HIS time.
23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’