When we chose our family verse years ago, it seemed so honorable and right. But reality seldom feels easy or right.
"Like arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior are the children of ones' youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127:3-4Arrows aren't meant to remain in a quiver. Good arrows are molded and shaped to shoot far and fly straight. My first arrow is ready to fly. And he's flying far. He's seeking the life to which he feels he's been called. He will be learning, living and working with people who most likely grew up a lot differently than he did. They will most likely look, talk and act differently as well. These are the people to whom he feels led to love. He is not about sanitized Christianity in any way. He sees every person (no matter how well or badly they view themselves) as a broken, hurting soul, beautifully made in the image of Christ, in need of a Savior. And he loves them where they are. He struggles a bit with loving the "good" ones, the ones who think or act like they have it all together. He's learning that he needs to give grace to them just as most of us need to learn to give grace to the hard hearted sinner. Give him an ex-con any day over a church goer who can't accept differences in others.
Some people haven't been able to get this or accept this about him. That's okay. He's not always been easy to get! He's not exactly what you would call a rule follower. He does things and says thing to which many Christians cringe. Sometimes I think it's to prove a point. What 19 year old doesn't want to prove a point? He's got a hard exterior, and he can look kind of scary sometimes. He definitely has a "resting bitch face" (which, I'm not sure what you call it when it's a guy!!) and that keeps people from getting too close. If you are able to get close, you find a loyal friend for life. He doesn't look like what cultural Christianity says he should, but he's good with that. He doesn't think Jesus did either. He does not shy away from striking up a conversation with anyone about his beliefs and their need for a Savior, and every person whose life he's touched over the last year knows where he stands. He seeks out those whom he feels God has placed in his path to share the gospel. He's got a hard exterior and he's a bit rough so those are usually the people he attracts.
I didn't write this to extol his virtues, and I'm very well aware of his vices!! But most people who know him know those all too well so I don't really feel the need to balance it out with those! And for right now, I'm feeling somewhat nostalgic and sad that he's leaving so I'll leave it at this. I've really enjoyed the conversations we've had over the past few weeks and months. I see him digging into God's word, dissecting it, and struggling with living it out. I've seen him get angry and impatient and slip back into old, sinful habits. Then I've seen him realize, repent, and change. That's been super awesome to see. That's something that only the holy spirit can do. Because heaven knows, I was never able to. It's beautiful to see God working in your child's heart.
I am beginning to see how some parents are okay with just letting their kids live in their basement forever!! I think I might be good with that right now as well. The other kids keep telling him to stay. They don't want him to leave. Last night we spent hours watching old You Tube videos that he had made when he was 10, 11, 12. It was so great! Back before his voice changed. Every time I watch them, I see a little more into his soul. I think of all the dreams he had back then. I think of how he's been hurt and changed since then. He understands that everything that's happened has been a part of God's plan and shaping him into who he is to do the mission that's been set before him.
If you're a praying person, I'd appreciate prayers for his safety. He shared with me that's he actually nervous. He's never nervous. He knows how dangerous this profession is. It seems ironic that his most hated childhood saying, "safety first," is what he needs to remember now. We laughed about that together yesterday, and he realizes it's truth. So I pray that he will always remember "safety first." I do feel much better knowing that he is mature enough to take this seriously. And even with how nervous his is, he knows this is his calling. He will pursue it with purpose.
And tomorrow we will shoot our first arrow straight and far--far off to Prince Edward Island, Canada--to pursue God's will for his life. I pray that he will always listen to that still, small voice to lead him in the way he should go.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Psalm 22:6