On the Ache of Missing Children As They Grow Up

Josh is back at school, and has been for a while. Mike came home for a long weekend, and has been gone almost 2 weeks now. I have my 2 little guys, but they don't fill the empty place that each of my young adult sons leaves when they go back to their "real lives".

It is hard to believe that Josh graduates from college this year, and that Mike is fully self-supporting as a 2nd-year law school student. Mike has already accepted his first law-career job, and so I know he'll be hours away in Palo Alto when he's through with law school . . . but that's lots better than on the east coast, where he is now! And I alter between praying for God's best for Josh post-graduation and praying for God's best to mean something close to me.

It seems like just yesterday that Mike turned 10.

It seems like just yesterday that Josh last sat on my lap with his arms around my neck.

And beautiful Noah and Brooks -- my 7 and 6-y-o's -- are just as precious, but they are not my little boy Mike or my little boy Josh.

I am proud of them both. But I miss them terribly.

"I can cope with all things through Him who strengthens me" is close to Jim Birchfield's wonderful paraphrase of Philippians 4:13 . . . and it is true, but that doesn't make it easy!

I think the hardest thing any of us has to cope with is to cope with missing a loved one -- a loved one who has died, or one who has moved, or even simply one who has grown up.

But what a blessing to have had the opportunity to know intimately and to love!

I am grateful that I know what I am missing, and feel that ache of missing those incredible little boys and the incredible men they are becoming. Their presence in my life was and is one of God's sweetest gifts to me.

I am confident that God feels the same . . .

He delights in each one He created, and would rather feel the pain and ache of rejection than to not have created each and every one.

People are precious.

I recommend the sermons that Jim Birchfield preached on that theme last weekend and this. Here is the link to the one from last week: "Glimpses of Grace - Relentless Love 1" . The one from this week is at: "Glimpses of Grace - Relentless Love 2".

May I become a person who values the people around me the way our God does!


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