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.