Last night we celebrated my home-schooled son’s graduation with a very wonderful ceremony surrounded by friends and family. I left the church feeling overwhelmed with love and so very blessed. It was bittersweet though…. You see, just a few days ago, this beautiful young son of mine told me that he had received his date to leave for the Marine Corps recruit training: September 24th…that feels just around the corner to this mom! My heart literally stopped for a few seconds and my stomach tied itself into a huge aching knot. He’s been preparing for this for quite a while, so why was I not prepared to hear about the “date” that he’d leave? I honestly thought it would be next year….or maybe I was just living in denial. On the other hand, I’m genuinely happy for him. I’m excited for him because he’s excited to be starting “his life” and pursuing a long sought after dream. Oh, but the ache in my heart! 18 years is just not long enough…..have I taught him enough? Is he ready for this big bad world? Am I ready to let him go? Would I ever feel ready to let him go? Does he really know how very very much I will miss him and how much I adore and love him??? He’s such an energetic and vital part of my life here in this house, this home. And then there’s the worry that all mothers have when a child leaves home and especially when one is joining the military. I can’t even put into words those heart wrenching worries that dance around in the back of my mind. I refuse to entertain those negative thoughts for too long. My heart just can’t go there…
So, needless to say, I’ve been doing battle with the dreariest feelings. Then we get this awful, heartbreaking news about the mass shooting in Colorado. All those lives lost and all the hurting loved ones…the sorrow and the pain. I watched a popular news show tonight highlight some of what went on and tell the story of one of the young people who had lost their life. I cried along with the grieving mother as she described her precious daughter. There will never be an answer adequate enough to explain why some obviously troubled and maybe even evil young man decided to cause such nightmarish pain to so many lives. I hurt for his parents. I cannot imagine the horror and pain they must be feeling.
I suppose in light of all this heaviness I was already carrying it was just the absolute “straw that broke the camel’s back” when my innocent little 5 year old son got his feelings hurt by a grown up. I wanted so badly to confront this person with all the anger I was feeling at the time and give them a tasty piece of my mind, yet I didn’t. This doesn’t make me a door mat. I just feel there’s a time a place for everything and I was too overwhelmed with hurt and knew that I might say something out of anger and regret it later.
So, tonight I sought comforting words from the bible. I was amazed at how many verses I found that show how much God is so willing and able to wrap us in His love like a huge warm blanket when our hearts are heavy and aching. I know that He cares for even the smallest of our pains and is able to handle the largest of whatever trial or heartache life brings us.
Life is so precious and so fragile. How can any one of us take it for granted if we are awake in this life? How can anyone watch the news and then not feel compelled to drop every petty grudge we have and embrace all our loved ones and neighbors with open arms? Isn’t life too short to dwell on anything other than love? So many people are living with hate, anger and just absolute selfish motives never giving thought to what and who really matters…yet, I still believe that for every evil person there are at least 100 good people. I’ve met many of them and am blessed to have had them touch my life in some way.
I’d love to be able to list every one of the comforting verses I read tonight but I’ll just list a few of my all time favorites:
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.(Psalm 34:18)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”(Matthew 11:28-30)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.(John 14:27)