Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Startling Thought

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

Intense. A blur. Difficult. Amazing… they all apply to my last week with my son. Because of that some details are already fuzzy. So I can’t share the details or moments that triggered this story.

But, over the week, as we walked through the realization of Peter’s impending passing, we witnessed an incredible growth in Peter. He took a few moments to process the idea of leaving, but quickly reached a point of acceptance. He knew no reason to fear. He understood the separation would be temporary. He anticipated the freedom and restoration that awaited him. I could do none of that for him. Neither could my husband. Only God could work deep in his heart. Work he did and it amazed me.

In my thirteen years with Peter, I’d always been in the lead so to speak as mom and caregiver and advocate. But that last week my son stepped up and took the lead. In embracing his faith and preparing to meet God face to face, God granted him the grace needed for the moment. Peter didn’t show fear. Once he processed through the goodbye, he eagerly anticipated the moment of freedom. Each of the last half dozen days he verbally declared at one point or another, “I’m done. I’m ready. I just want to go home.”

As I witnessed this strength, God gifted me the opportunity to experience what parents must go through when they see their adult children succeed and flourish. Though only 13, no aspect of life could cause more pride and joy for this mother’s heart. I got to see my son become a man and walk strongly and rightly during the most challenging moment of his life. He did it and he did it well.

The realization hit as I soaked all of this in. I saw Peter function as a mature believer in Christ, ready to stand before his God. As a fellow child of God watching, one day it hit me that, although Peter was physically my son, spiritually he was my brother. We were both children of God, siblings in the family of God.

…My son, a man of God, my brother.

Thinking of Peter that way feels foreign yet it’s true. As I think about the many special moments a parent experiences with their adult children, I mourn. But if you get down to the real heart of what makes those moments special, I think it’s much less the details and circumstances, and really about the pride and emotional connection at seeing your child successful and flourishing. I might not get to see my son walk across a graduation stage, vow his heart to a bride or teach his child to worship God, but I fulfilled the deepest longing of a mother - I’ve seen my son succeed as a man. And that’s a gift this mother’s heart will treasure for all of eternity.

Peter… my son… my brother in Christ…. You did it kiddo! And you did it well!

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