Friday, March 10, 2017

On my Firstborn's 18th Birthday

Today Brian is 18. For 18 years, he’s been mine. I’ve heard “we only have them for a little while” since he was a baby. Today the reality of this simple phrase hits home. He is a legal adult. In less than 2 months he will graduate High School. This summer he will be on his own, 800 miles away from us.

I have friends who cried for months when their children turned 18, but I’m not. I’m excited for him and what life holds for him.

I mean, he’s never really been mine. Oh my goodness I love him so much it hurts, but this boy has always been God’s - on loan to me until he could take care of himself. Now that time is rapidly approaching and he will do what he’s always said he’d do and his desire to leave us this summer is no surprise.

He’s ready. He doesn’t keep his room clean or cook and is prone to oversleep. But what he needs, he has: a deep love for the Lord and a strong sense of accountability to God. He is going to be just fine apart from us, because he never really answered to us anyway. He has always answered to God. While our ideas about what he should and shouldn’t do might change over time, he has never wavered in anything that really mattered. I know that’s because he knows that it is more important to please God with is life than it is to please his parents.

He is a gift. This boy has brought me more joy than I ever imagined possible. Watching him grow into a man has been the single greatest experience of my life to date. He is everything I wish I’d been. In many ways, he’s who I’d like to be now. He is good, kind, thoughtful, and gracious. He is humble, brave, courageous and strong. He loves the Lord and His life shows that more vividly than any other person I know. I know him. I see him at his best and worst and can honestly say that Jesus oozes out of him.

God has always had His hand on Brian. Since he was a little boy, he has been God’s. I don’t know how to explain this other than to say that Brian is just different, set apart…like God’s hand is on him, guiding him, directing him and protecting him from the things that can harm his witness. I don’t know that he will always be safe from harm or that he will live to a ripe old age. I don’t know if he will marry or have children. I do know this… until he gets to heaven, he will do everything he can to share Christ with those God puts in his path.

I feel like I’ve had this amazing guy all to myself for 18 years and now I get to watch God use him “out there” in the world. I am thankful, truly thankful that God trusted me enough to let me be Brian’s mom. I am so proud of the man he has become. I love who he is. I am honored to be his mom and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in and through him.

Brian’s okay. He’s ready. He knows who he serves and who he answers to. I don’t have to defend him or tell people what a strong Christian he is. There is no “but” with him. There is no “Brian loves Jesus but…” or “Brian is a good kid but…” or “Brian is respectful but…” or “Brian tries, but…”  No, he isn’t perfect, and yes, I think he’s close. I just see Christ in Him. Nothing is greater than this. He is amazing, not because of anything he’s done on his own or because of anything we’ve done as parents, but because his life is submitted to Christ.

So, He’s 18. I’ll have him to myself for a few more months, but in my heart I am already letting him go.

After all, this is what we raised him for.

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