HOW do you release your young adult kids to grow up into the people God designed them to be?
HOW do you allow them to launch without controlling their every move?
Is it just me and my anxiety-driven, Enneagram 6- catastrophizing mindset that is struggling with this?
Or can you relate?
HOW do I pass these repeated tests and move on to a deeper intimacy with Jesus?
Okay. Deep breath in. Exhale slowly.
Cory, our recently graduated high school senior was all set to attend a local JUCO (that’s cool parenting talk for junior college) and play football. Out of the God-directed-blue, the head coach from Santa Barbara City College contacted Cory the end of June, asking him to consider playing for them.
THAT was the end of our low-key, no drama summer.
The next month included:
- Frantic searches for an apartment
- Last minute hotels and Air BNB’s when said frantic searches fell through
- Truck engine blowing up on a trip home from Santa Barbara to pick up belongings for an apartment… which fell through, resulting in another hotel.
- Several unreliable, non-committal roommate situations resulting in more frantic searches and hotels.
- Daily phone calls to property managers— checking on unreliable, non-committal roommate potentials and lease agreements.
I could go on, but you get the picture. It was stressful.
It honestly feels as if every day in July and August held the same spiritual trust test for me, and I failed it every time.
Today is my turning point! I am again surrendering my agenda, agreeing to follow God’s lead and have faith. My two favorite definitions of faith are:
- Faith is the refusal to panic. (Dennis Rainey)
- Risk is the demonstration of faith. (Ken Davis)
… which explains the repeated, failed tests: I panic easily and it’s extremely hard for me to take risks.
I have a lot of thoughts on ways to reconnect with God in order to walk through difficult times well.
But… the one thing that changed everything for me this week was opening up my journal and finding the page I started when things began to go sideways. It’s dated July 10, 2018, and the title is Expect a Miracle.
It’s a chronicling of unfolding events and how God was leading us through Cory’s change of college plans.
It’s a listing of all the little miracles we were experiencing.
It’s a record of personal thoughts as I looked for Jesus in the daily happenings.
It’s a roster of names of anyone who told me they were praying for Cory, affectionately named #teamCory by a friend.
It’s priceless! And I had forgotten all about it when I crossed over to the dark side of worry.
Here’s the crazy part for me as I realign my thoughts. The situation has not changed or been resolved, but my perspective has and… THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING!
“What is the value of your soul to God? Could your worth be defined by an amount of money? God doesn’t abandon or forget even the small sparrow he has made. How then could he forget or abandon you? What about the seemingly minor issues of your life? Do they matter to God? Of course they do! So you never need to worry, for you are more valuable to God than anything else in this world.” (Luke 12:6-7 The Passion Translation or TPT)
“Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7 TPT)
One more thing I KNOW to be true with complete confidence: God LOVES to surprise us with unexpected outcomes as we put our trust in him.
Twelve years ago, almost to the day, we were headed to the hospital to visit newborn Olivia. We were walking blindly in faith, following God’s lead, in hopes we could adopt this precious bundle. It was risky, but we refused to panic because it just seemed God was in it.
As we drove, 6 year old Cory led out in prayer from the backseat, simply saying, “God. Just do your stuff today.”
My prayer for 18 year old Cory today…
“God. Just do your stuff.”