My son came home last night, well this morning as it was after midnight, after completing his second year of college. Before he even stepped foot in the house, I had a conversation with God about him. The conversation was one of enlightenment.
I always think of the scripture regarding training up your child (Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it) with the only effects being that which affects the child. A child's training is paramount for parents. If we do our jobs right, then when the children are older they will have a stable foundation upon which to grow from.
Yet, the part - "when he is old". It hit me as I realized driving home that my child is older. He will be 20 at the end of May. Prior to this summer, he was looking for internships in many different places/cities. He had no fear of taking a job in a city where he knew no one. He wanted to push out into the world to find something new and different. It was in that moment, the one where I realized his age, that I realized that God was still training me on how to parent him. See, when our kids are little, we teach them the basics. We show them how to maneuver in this world so that they can succeed. We teach them the Word of God and encourage them to establish a relationship with God that is all their own. Those teachings are what they take with them as they go off into the world and establish themselves in careers and with a family of their own.
What I during my drive home was that in this season, God was training me for the other part of the scripture - the part that would effect me. The part where he goes off has a job, his own home, a wife and kids. God was training me by having him go to school hours away from me and him having a desire to go out into the world and make his mark. This new season of parenting T isn't just about him. Its also how I deal with the fact that my baby boy, the one I carried in my womb for months, the one I nursed back to health when he had a cold, the little one that had hernia surgery at 4, the middle schooler that began to act out, the teenager that I had "the talk" with, the basketball player that was hurt that he didn't get as much playing time as he wanted in high school had turned into a young man in what seemed to be an overnight transition.
Not that I was ever going to let him go in the sense that I would stop parenting him, but that how I parent him has changed in a short span of 22 years. Now its not you have to do so and so, its what do you plan to do? In this season, his relationship with God has to be the dominant force running his life, not my relationship where God shows me what is best for him. I can pray, but he has to pray also. He has to see, know, feel, believe that what God says about him is the truth. Then he has to move in it.
Training - I'm getting ready for another season not just for me, but for this young man that God blessed me with.