I think I manage, somehow, to come across as a pretty normal person, regularly and effectively camouflaging my neuroses. I say this because when I reveal to friends my true nature they invariably act surprised. The truth is, I am an overprotective weirdo of the highest order.
My boys have never stayed a single night away from home without at least one parent. That’s right, no sleepovers, no camps, no staying with relatives. Seriously. As in NEVER. And I’m not kidding. And my oldest will be twelve next month. They’ve stayed at home when we’ve been away, but only for one or two nights and some member of our family has been with them here at home.
But this week my son, Will, went on a camping trip with school. They slept in tents where there are bears. BEARS! For two nights.
I wanted him to go. I wanted him to have a fabulous time, but honestly I woke up about four times the first night, thinking of him and praying for him and thinking, golly gee, the college send-off is going to kill me.
The good news is that he in fact did have a fabulous time, and I in fact survived.
The pitiful part is that I doubt the success of this trip has cured my stubborn fingers which continually wrap themselves around my family like some kind of matronly anaconda. Like I can protect them! Like I can ensure anyone takes another breath! It’s so dumb. It’s so faithless. Rationally, I know that. I know that God is Sovereign and that He loves me. He loves my husband and my sons even more than I do, unfathomable as that is. But still, loss and suffering could be part of His plan. This fallen world of ours is full of hurting people, and I’ve lived through my own set of tragedies. I know I am not immune. And yet I also know that even in the heartache there is purpose, that God can be and often is glorified through what others would view as hopeless ashes, utter destruction. I know that. In the depths of my soul, I know that.
Nevertheless, I rejoice tonight to have my sweet boy home, to look with fresh eyes on his melt-your-heart smile, to know he’ll sleep in the very next room where there may be spiders lurking about, but no bears.
May God forgive me for letting fears diminish joys and for my hopelessly sticky and controlling fingers.
1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being faithful and just and forgiving!