“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God,” Romans 12:2 NKJV
As I sat during last night’s football game, I had to continually reprogram my thinking. Yesterday was the first football game of the season. Unlike last year, my youngest son Lan had no interest at all in sitting by me. About ten minutes after our arrival the first words out of his mouth were, “Can I go sit by my friends?”
His request was not unexpected. He is growing up and now in high school. However, I have to constantly battle within my mind that he is not in elementary school or middle school. I have to constantly remember that he has shown increased maturity and responsibility.
He will never learn how to correctly behave in social situations if I am constantly whispering in his ear what he should and should not do.
So, I have absolutely no idea what happened in the first half of the game.
Aside from a few glances over at my older son who was in the stands with the band, my attention was keenly focused two sections over. Lan was talking with one of his school mates and hugging and speaking with his former teachers.
I watched him walk up and down the stairs, waving hesitantly to various people he knew. He was always in eyesight. My husband sat down beside me and sighed. “He’s fine,” he moaned. Lan may have been fine. I was not.
Last night was definitely an exercise but for me more so than Lan. I had to exercise faith that he would be all right, not just last night but in these next four years of high school. I had to exercise patience because watching him socialize while not under my direct supervision was nerve-wracking. I was surprised at my level of anxiety. I was also proud at Lan’s willingness to mingle.
I’ve prayed that Lan would find good friends. He has a few but none of them go to his school. He will have to make new friends. I will have to allow him the opportunity to do so.
I know it is God’s intention to answer my prayer. I just have to get out-of-the-way and allow Him to do so. I have to trust God for this to happen. I prayed while sitting in the stands.
High school is often a time of angst under the best of circumstances. We all want to protect our kids when it pains us to see them branch out. But there is no way any of us can learn without failure. Lan will never reach his full potential if I don’t allow him to try and fail.
I have to remember he isn’t the same child who would wander in pre-k. He isn’t the same child who was terrified of crowds. He has grown and I must too, if I’m not to lose my mind.
Sometimes we can have our minds so programmed to one thought that we are reluctant to change. Always realistic, I must look at what he can become not how I’ve viewed him in the past. I must change my thinking if I am to “hand him over,” so God can do even more.
I wrote recently about letting go. Last night showed me I’ve still got a ways to go. Letting go means relinquishing more and more of my parental control and gaining more and more control over my thoughts.
This change is uncomfortable, nauseating and even painful. But it is necessary for all of our sakes. If Lan is to grow up, I can’t hold him in.
My husband saw one of his teachers last night who said Lan was doing just great in his class. I breathed a sigh of relief. I have to change my thinking so I am not surprised by the very things I pray for!
God has gotten us thus far and I’m confident He will see us through high school and beyond. I just have to remind myself of miracles past every time I get that gnawing knot in my stomach.
Lan came back to my seat at the end of the game just as my husband instructed, even before the timer was done. He maneuvered the crowd just fine. There was no major fiasco. No catastrophe. We survived.
It is indeed an effort not to view the teenager towering over me as the little kid I’ve sheltered for so long. Lan and I have moved on to a new season in life and ready or not it is here.
For once it is not Lan who needs to be mature and adapt. This time it’s me.