This post is a continuation from my previous post entitled 'The Prodigal Son Returns' (if you haven't read the first post, you may want to scroll down and do that:).
As I shared in my first post, I have wrestled with God about the decision to allow my son to live with his dad in California. My main issue was/is the fact that Josh's dad is a non believer. Although Josh's dad has promised that he will take him to church, he still isn't 'living' a Christian lifestyle. His values are nowhere near in line with what God teaches us, but align more with what the world has to teach. For example, he believes that women should have the right to abort their babies if that is what they choose. That is just one of the issues, but basically he falls under the mentality of 'whatever that person feels is right for themselves'. Very democratic, very California.
When I want good, solid, biblical counsel on issues in my life, I often turn to Connie. She is our Pastor's wife, but more so...she is a dear friend. Since she has raised 3 beautiful, wise girls of her own, I value her advice immensly. When I spoke to her of my concern about letting Eddie raise Josh in a non Christian home I thought that she would definitely be on 'my side'. I was in for a little surprise.
What she told me is that even if Josh lived with me, there was no guarantee he would be a 'Christian'. I could bring him to church and youth group and he could look the part, but his walk with Christ was up to him. Only he could make the decision to have a relationship with Christ....and he didn't have to live with me to make that decision. HELLO! OK..obviously Connie was a little 'off' that day! :) Actually, I knew what she was saying was right. I am a youth leader and I am blessed to witness kids making their own decisions to follow Christ. Most of them don't come from 'Christian' homes. I also get to watch the 'Christian' kids playing the part of Christians, but not walking the walk. HOWEVER....this isn't a 'youth group' kid we were talking about. This is my son! I wasn't completely buying it. I still felt that if he was brought up in a Christian home he would stand a much better chance.
So, God being God, in all of His infinite wisdom, allowed the point to be driven home. My 16 year old daughter, who lives with me, has fallen away from God. She doesn't believe. She believes there is probably a God, but she thinks the whole thing is "stupid". She goes to church, she went to youth group, she looked the part. The 'relationship' wasn't/isn't there.
God has taught me a lot over the past 6 years, but probably one of the hardest lessons I am learning is the art of....letting go. I can picture all of your heads nodding up and down as you read this. I know, you know what I am talking about. Those two simple words are a struggle for all of us and in various different facets of our lives. We all struggle with letting go. Most likely, we always will. Just when we let go of one thing, we will find ourselves clinging to another. That is our human, sinful nature.
Yesterday I watched a plane climb upward into a dark, vast sky. That plane carried my one and only son. My heart broke as it does every time I watch him leave. My head rested against the oversized, cold window and I could see my breath appear and disappear with each sob. As I watched his plane taxi down the runway, I had never been so aware of just how out of control I am. He was alone on that flight and I had no choice, but to lay him into God's hands and trust that God would take care of him.
It was a long ride from Omaha to Red Oak last night. My heart was heavy and I just wanted to get home. Although my mom came with me, we didn't really speak. I knew she understood how I felt when she reached over and patted my arm. In that moment, I also realized that God understood how I felt. He whispered in my ear: "I know. I let my Son go, too". I thought of the sacrifice that God had made and the pain He must have felt not being able to help His Son as He hung on the cross. Suddenly, my loss seemed so small.
I spoke with Josh last night when he arrived in California. I let him know that I watched his plane take off and asked him if he saw me at the window as the plane pulled away. He said "No. I fell asleep." So, here I am crying, wondering if he is going to miss me as much as I already miss him and what is he doing? SLEEPING! Isn't that just like a boy?
Son, I pray you will always be able to sleep in peace knowing that God, and God alone, keeps you safe and sound.