The relationships I treasure most are those with my family. But if your family is like mine, familial love is mixed with hurt and disappointment. Resolving those issues with the gospel in view protects our families from the cancer of unforgiveness, bitterness and seething resentment.
I have 7 children ranging in age from 17 to 33. We all live within minutes of each other, serve in the same church together and love spending time together. But there have been bumps — including some painful and serious ones — along the way. I have spent nights praying, crying and yes, sometimes seething over things between my kids and me. Even the fruit we are enjoying now isn’t without times where disappointment and sinful attitudes tempt various ones of us to feel unloved.
But then times like this weekend happen. This morning I am leaving for the University of Alabama with my 22-year-old son in response to an invitation to visit their law school. Responsibilities at home are preventing Benny from coming along. So I get to spend two full days with Jake. I’m so looking forward to just hanging with him. He makes me laugh and has a way of making most every experience memorable.
But I’m a little nervous. You see, there’s a pretty serious problem. We are Auburn fans. War eagles don’t mix with rolling tides. If Jake goes to law school at Alabama our entire family may go into some serious debt re-clothing ourselves (and Jake) in orange and blue.
The other problem is that both Alabama and the University of Florida have offered Jake a generous scholarship to attend their law schools. AND while we’re in Tuscaloosa, Alabama the UF gymnastics team will be there for a competition Jake and I will be attending as a part of the orientation weekend. As he waits to hear back from a few other schools, Jake has decided God will help him narrow down the decision about these by ordaining who wins the competition.
Hmm….the next three years of my son’s life could be hanging on a gymnastics competition?
It won’t be the only time I’ll laugh over the next few days with my boy. And while I’m spending some time alone at our hotel while he attends a class and does some other “moms not needed” activities, I’m also anticipating a tear or two. The thought of him moving away isn’t a pleasant one for me. While I’m rejoicing at the opportunity his hard work and God’s kindness has provided him, I’m not looking forward to goodbye.
Thank you, Lord, for Your help to deal with the challenges my son and I have walked through over the years. I want this friendship to continue to deepen as he gets older….
Even if he ends up at the University of Alabama!