From this World to Glory

Oh, how I long for the days when my son shared everything with me! The times when he would tell me he had to talk to me, but that he didn’t want me to get mad at him and despite his fear, he talked with me anyway. You see, we created a ‘safe zone’ where he could share anything with me without fear of a mom’s wrath coming down on him…we called it our ‘safe zone’. All it consisted of was a particular spot in the living room and the words, “I want to talk in the safe zone.” That meant he could speak and all I could do was listen. NO advice, NO retort, NO reprimand…just listen. I had to wait at least 24 hours before the subject could be brought up again. This allowed him time to speak and get everything off his chest and gave me time to cool down and think about a response that could help him rather than make the situation or his feelings worse. It really was a win win situation.

However, somewhere along the way, as he entered the alien stage of development called teenager, I lost that connection. I don’t know where it went, why it got lost, or what happened that severed the connection. I know he wants more independence, believe me I get it! I know he is stretching his wings and doesn’t want his mom to stifle that, but I miss the connection so deeply it hurts at times. The moments where he just answers yes or no, and ends it there, just frustrate me. I don’t want every detail of his life, I just want to know how things are going and still be a part of his life.

I remember when he was just a young thing about 8 years old and he would tell me how rude and mean teenagers are, and then proceed to tell me he would never be that way! I tried to get that in writing, but that never happened! Now, he argues with me for no apparent reason. He doesn’t do what I ask without several prompts and then proceeds to bite my head off saying I am bugging him about it, when actually if he would have done it the first time, I wouldn’t have to “bug” him about it. Oh my goodness!!! Being a teacher with a minor in child development, I knew this stage would come, but for some crazy reason, I felt my kiddo would be different. He would learn from those around him, like I did. Being the youngest of 4 helped me realize what not to do around our house. He is the oldest, but has grown up with kids older and younger than him since the day he was born. One would think he would have picked up a few cues on what not to do.

I suppose in reality, I know he is becoming a man and my biggest problem is not that he argues or gives me a hard time sometimes. As I have been praying and wondering what to do to help him, it is abundantly clear that my hurt is due more in part to the fact that I feel like somehow I have failed to teach him the beauty of God. I watch him struggle to find his identity in Christ and wonder why it is such a struggle. Did I not teach him well? Did I not lead by example enough? Did I not read or dissect scripture with him enough? Did I not pray with him enough? I have so many questions about what I should or should not have done, and right now, such a broken heart.

I know everyone, my son included, has to make their own mistakes, find their own path. I just weep at the thought that he feels so disconnected from me, from God. He has moments where I jump up and down for joy because he sees the glory of God around him in some way, shape or form, and then there are other times I fear for his future salvation as he speaks about things of this world and acts in such a way that is so opposing to God’s way.

As I was reading through my study this morning, a scripture really stood out to me. After Jesus was discussing with the disciples about his leaving to go to the Father in heaven and the Holy Spirit coming to them in John 16, John 17:1 states, ‘he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify you Son, that your Son may glorify you.’” When I looked up glorify in the dictionary, glorify means to cause to be or treat as being more splendid, excellent than would normally be considered, to honor with praise, admiration, or worship, to make glorious. When something is glorified, it becomes set apart from others. When I glorify God, I praise him, magnifying his name and his way in my life. When I glorify God, his light shines through me and my life. The good, the bad, and the ugly, can all be used to show the world who God is! How marvelous that when we glorify God, he glorifies us through his holiness, righteousness, and beauty!!

As I took the day to ponder this, two thoughts came to mind. First, my son has to accept that the Lord wants to glorify him, that he is worthy of God choosing him, an ordinary young man with sin in his heart, to do big and wondrous things for God’s kingdom. Second, I need to glorify my son. And no, I don’t mean worship him. I mean, I need to show him who he is in the eyes of God. He has heard the Bible stories. He has read and memorized the study verses. He has watched Veggie Tales, the Passion of the Christ, and the Nativity. He has been taught the true meaning of Christmas and Easter. He has been attending church since he was 2 years old and involved in youth group. He has done all those outwardly things to “show” he is a Christian, to help himself believe he is a Christian. NOW it is time for him to inwardly know he is a Christian and choose that path on his own. I need to glorify him in the sense that I remind him how special he is in the eyes of Christ, that he is chosen, set apart to do splendid works, that he is a son of God! I need to embellish his heart with the adornment of God’s love and grace. I need to continue to unveil his eyes to see the truth of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it—Proverbs 22:6

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord—Ephesians 6:4

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them—Deuteronomy 4:9

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up—Deuteronomy 11:19

God has gently reminded me to challenge my son, to continue to teach him, to continue to bring him up in the word and the ways of God, so that he will have that firm foundation to return to when he is lost in the world of chaos and things! Now, all I have to do is trust that the seeds I and fellow Christian brothers and sisters in Christ plant will continue to be nurtured and grow to bloom in his heart, building a future in God that will bring glory to his life and his family to come.

May you trust that God has you, even when you doubt. May you know with a dedicated heart that the seeds planted will grow to produce fruit when they are planted in God’s name. May you hold to the truth that God is in control and all things will work to the good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
All my love and as I pray for you, please pray for me!!

child bible 2

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it—Proverbs 22:6

From this World to Glory
April 15, 2013

Oh my son
My beautiful, wondrous son
You have grown so much
Becoming the man God created
May you know your worth
Feel God’s love for you
Know that you are forgiven and free
Deny the voices of evil
Lies whispered in your ear
Ignore the thoughts that you’re not good enough
The world will beckon the doors of your heart
Tempt you with things
Bringing only momentary happiness
Taste and drink from the Lord
He will fill you to overflowing
Bring you comfort, joy, peace
His mercy is never-ending
He knows your comings and your goings
He thinks of you more than the grains of sand on earth
He knows every hair on your head
You my son are the apple of his eye
Let not the world deceive you
Do not succumb to its wicked ways
Trust your life to Jesus
Listen to the still small voice
Believe there is more to this life than things
Seek the eternal prize
The gift freely given from such great sacrifice
Salvation and freedom from the bonds of this world
Hope for a future filled with glory
I love you my son
Hold on and fight the good fight
When the world is dark and in despair
Know that God will hold you
He will guide you on the path of righteousness
No matter how far you may stray
He will always be there
With open arms and an overjoyed heart
His love never ends
Your rock and fortress he will be
A shelter from the insanity of life
Walk in his ways my son
You are robed in righteousness
Veiled in holiness
You my child are adorned with gifts yet unknown
Blessed beyond compare
Let God bring glory through you
Be an instrument in his hands
A light unto the world

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