I’m a mess.
My 13-year-old son left Monday for his first ever week-long sleepover camp. And to make matters worse, it’s not down the road, or a county away, but in a whole other state—Tennessee, to be exact. He is 7 long hours away from me at a middle school Christian retreat at Johnson University, accompanied by a leader and helpers I deeply trust and surrounded by friends, some he’s known since birth.
So really, there’s nothing to worry about. I should be extremely happy for him. He’s probably having a blast; growing in his walk with Christ and witnessing others do so as well, eating Ho Ho’s, drinking soda and playing killer Dodgeball. Never mind the fact that he’s only called twice, both times late at night when he was too whipped to say much…
But this mamma, instead of looking forward to some much-needed me time, or even me and hubby time, is sitting here a muddled, sleep deprived mess, counting down the hours until his group returns tomorrow. At night, when I should be sleeping, I end up wandering into his room, taking inventory of the posters on the wall or the toys scattered about, just to feel close to him and remind myself he will come back.
What’s going to happen to me when he turns 18 in five short years?
Deep in my soul, I know he’s in good hands. He was God’s child first and will be His to care for again once he’s left the nest and spread his wings to fly away. God has graciously lent him to his father and me for a few short years, just as He lent His Son to the world for a few short years over 2000 years ago.
How hard must it have been for God to send His most precious Son to earth, having spent eternity with him already in heaven. How hard it must have been to know that this precious life He created would eventually suffer an unspeakable scourge at the hands of Pontius Pilate’s soldiers, be stripped and mocked and made to carry his own cross to the site where he would be brutally murdered. How God must have suffered and died inside with Jesus while he was hanging on that cross, wondering if his Father had deserted him.
Pondering on this undeserving sacrifice God spoke into being on my behalf certainly puts my son’s advent to church camp into perspective. It also assures me that my heavenly Father knows how I feel as I worry and wait.
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, ESV)