The days are long but the years are short. I have used this phrase often throughout my parenting years but it has never felt more real or painful than it does right now. It is just after 5:00 am Tuesday morning and in 24 hours my firstborn son, Elijah is moving to Montana. I woke up at 4:30 and as soon as I was alert I sighed a deep knowing sigh. I knew I was not going to be able to go back to sleep. I couldn't escape my emotions. Not even for a couple more hours until the sun rose and life rushes in. I begged God please don't let me be awake right now. I laid there still until wet hot tears started to soak my pillow and I couldn't hide my sniffles anymore.
So here I am sitting in the dark downstairs and the only light I feel and see right now is my keyboard.
I have stuffed the feelings long enough. And what a conglomerate mess of feelings it is. Joy, Pride, Excitement, Guilt, Grief...
As a little girl and young woman my main heart hunger was motherhood. After Eric and I got married we had such a rough start together that we waited on some healing before we tried to be parents. Then in 1994 it happened. Two lines showed up on my pregnancy test and I was ecstatic. Sadly a few short weeks later I had a miscarriage. So many emotions like today to muddle through. I still remember sitting on my mauve couch in our small Bible college apartment desperate for comfort from our loss. This was one of those times I opened up my bible and there right in front of me was 2 Kings 4:16 and I read the words:
"About this time next year, Elisha said, you will hold a son in your arms." So I scribbled December 29th, 1994 next to the verse. Then on December 27th, 1995 Elijah Caleb Selent, my son, was born.
Motherhood has been so much more thorny and at the same time so much more miraculous than I could have ever imagined.
Elijah has been one of those kids that has such a kind and tender soul. I tell him often that he is one of the kindest people I know and I mean it. Kindness is his superpower. Although at times he would doubt his gifts or that God had something in store for him. I NEVER have. I just always hoped and prayed it would be in the same area as me. That as life took him from my home to his own somehow it wouldn't be that far. That God would grant my hearts desire and we would still see each other face to face on a regular basis and then we would just add more beautiful faces to the mix. A wife. Grandchildren. All of which I would get to be a part of somehow. Now I am facing distance. Not a days drive distance but across the country distance and the ache is real and it is powerful.
I know this is not a drill. I know since the day he was born this has been our job to prepare him to go and as I look at the man he is today, all though far from perfect, we have done a pretty amazing job, in spite of ourselves. As I share these things I know it can sound like I am all that matters. I have had comments from others that make you feel guilt on top of the pain for even feeling the grief. So let me share that I do realize this is not all about me. It's about a wonderful young man who God designed with amazing kindness, and incredible love for others, and strong passion to make a difference for His kingdom in this world. And like I said earlier, I never have and never will doubt that he will be used in exciting and dynamic ways. To say that I am proud of him almost feels too feeble. There is a quote from Andy Stanley that I have had written on a chalkboard in my kitchen for years:
"Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise."
Elijah I have to believe those words. I have always struggled with feeling like I had something to contribute but looking at you and the man you have become, I feel like mouth dropping wow. You WILL do amazing things for God. Fresh Life was prepared in advance for you. Dad and I dedicated you to the Lord as a baby and you have done so well up unto this point and there is so much more in store for you.
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
As Hannah asked the Lord for a child, I also asked the Lord for you Elijah.
"I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give Him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:27&28
This is a difficult transition for me. As I have always said. I love you and I like you. Your one of my very best friends. I miss you already. But you were made for such a time as this and I am beyond proud.
Thank you God for letting me be Elijah's mama and for using me to bring him to this point. Hold my hurting heart and comfort me and keep him in your hands when he's no longer in mine.