Passports and Permits
It’s been a big month around our house. Sawyer (our oldest) turned 15. That means permit time. And crying time. And praying time. And if I allow myself to dwell on it for long, a lot more crying. There’s only one thing that helps in times like these: denial. Yes, I’ll have some of that.
As if the permit milestone weren’t enough, we also applied for Sawyer’s passport. Yes, you heard it right. I’m shipping my kid off to Bolivia. His best buddy’s aunt and uncle have been missionaries there for 30 years and they’ve invited the guys over for a mission adventure. So if his driving isn’t enough to send me into heart failure, then putting him on an airplane to backpack across South America with another 15 year old boy should do the trick. That part isn’t as nerve wracking as knowing he’s got to make a connection in Miami. MIAMI. The only good thing I’ve ever heard about Miami is that Gloria Estefan lives there and something tells me she isn’t going to jump off her enormous yacht to run over and take care of my baby if he is kidnapped by drug lords. (Who wouldn’t be running rampant if Crockett and Tubbs were still in uniform. Or tropical colored blazers.)
So yeah, we are a little anxious about the trip and we’ve had lots of raised eyebrows over the fact that we are not only letting Sawyer go but encouraging him. As much as I don’t want to think about it (more denial), it won’t be long until my first child will need to begin figuring out not ‘what’ he wants to be when he grows up but who. The what is easy. Anyone can be a what, can do a what, enroll in school and train to learn what a what does. ‘Who’ is a different matter entirely and is seldom learned in a text book or from a career assessment test given to teenage boys whose primary ambitions are to eat much and sleep even more. Who is learned on the field trips that take you places that broaden your horizons and hopefully don’t break your heart when the boy/girl friend you started out with in the a.m. is holding hands with another by lunch.
Am I afraid? Well I’d be a lame mom if not but the Lord spoke clearly to me on this a few weeks back. Anxiety is the absence of faith. Abraham was commended for his faith, not his fear, when the son he loved was the center of the test. I can be comforted because no matter what happens, my son will arrive safely home. God is for me. God is for Sawyer. I will not let my mind rehearse anything other than the best possible outcome and that is he will come back with an experience of a lifetime that will open his eyes to a world around him that needs more who’s, not what’s.
Look at that darlin’ child. That’s a who if I’ve ever seen one.
If we live our lives in safety, I fear we miss what God has planned for us. And this includes our children. God has gone before them and prepared for their arrival. I let Amber go to Mexico when she was 13 and many people thought I had lost it. He is an awesome young man!
precious! And you are so right girl, the what is easy, the who…. that’s altogether different!
Surrendering our children into God’s hands and plans is never easy. Mike and I see it this way, though. God gave us our girls to raise for a time, but always with the understanding that they are ultimately his children, not ours. Just like Hannah and Samuel, God gifts us with our children so we can dedicate them to his service. (Remind me of all this when Bethany leaves in June for 3 weeks of service in East Africa.)
You go, girl! I’m so proud of your stance. There comes a time in our children’s life when the faith we’ve tried to teach them has to become their own. If we want our children to be radical for Jesus, then that means letting them do radical things. Does that make sense? I will be praying for him and for you!
Anxiety is the absence of faith.
I’ve been lecturing myself on this a lot lately. We will add Sawyer to our prayer list. Godspeed.
Beautiful post! You are an excellent example of how to bring your child up in the Lord – so that he can be who the Lord has designed him to be. Thanks for the inspiring words!
I needed to read this!! My guy (13) is leaving for Spain in 9 days!! YIKES!!! I am starting to panic a bit but you are so right, GOD is for ME and He is for TYLOR. This is going to be an amazing experience for him and he will return home to me! YAY GOD. Thanks for this post….
I think you’ve made an AWESOME decision! My parents let me travel to Southeast Asia to do mission work at the same age and it was such a blessing! I don’t know how they did it – but I guess they had that same faith that I would return home safely…and I did!
I think it is SO awesome he is going and that you are allowing him to go! What an experience! We’ve had a few teens come and stay with us for a couple of weeks to a month. Having them come work along side us has been such a huge blessing to us and them! They are SO fun and it can be such a life changing, eye opening experience for them! Hope he has a wonderful time and you have peace while he is traveling and away!! Blessings!
You are so wise to let him go to Bolivia! It will be an experience he’ll never forget. Praying for you as he goes.
I loved this post! thanks :)
You are such a cool chick!
My youngest just received her permit this last week (nearly did me in!!), my middle turned 18 on St Patty’s day and my oldest (he’s 20 and in college) just returned from his spring break trip to Panama City Beach (he participated in Beach Reach with his church from Indiana Univ).
All of these things do crazy things to my heart! I know….that my job is not to get in God’s way but to lean in His direction and allow my kids to see and do the same for themselves!
So far……so good!
It’s really cool to see your kids CHOOSE CHRIST when you’re not looking!
Thanks for such encouraging posts!
I remember those days… permits and mission trips. We let our daughter go on mission trips ever since she was in 8th grade. She is now 25. In college she went on a 3 week mission trip to Alaska. Now she wants to live there someday. We never know what God has in store for our kids. We just have to keep them prayed up and let God work in them and through them. Blessings to you and your family.