Letting go … when your oldest graduates high school

Whew. This has been a year of adjustments, changes, and just plain ol’ letting go. That’s hard for me. Really. Really. Hard. Let me give you a run down of this year for us with James – our oldest.

  • April: We originally though James would be attending the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in the fall of 2017. So he signed up for his fall classes. While we’re talking about UMHB, I need to give them a shout out. It is an AMAZING university (they love homeschoolers). They LOVE the Lord and only hire Christians who are actively practicing their faith. They must know and love Jesus. I LOVE this.

  • May: James graduated high school. That in itself is amazing. When we first started our homeschooling journey it seemed as if it was going to last forever. Let me tell you, mamas, it doesn’t. It flies by. Before you know it, your son is standing before you a man, not a little boy. There’s hair on his chest, whiskers on his cheeks, and he’s filled out like a man. No more skinny little boy standing before me, but a grown man, ready to branch out on his own and make his way in this crazy world.

  • June: James tested for his driver’s license. This was a HUGE step for Bubba as he really hates to drive. However, it moved from a “might need to drive” situation to a requirement before he left for his mission trip this past summer. Needless to say, he passed the test the day before he left for Moldova.
  • July: Not only did James go on a mission trip. He went halfway around the world to Europe – Moldova to be exact. And no, we were not even home. We were on a mission trip in Longview, Washington…32 hours from home. So, not only was James traveling without us for the first time EVER, he was not even on the same continent. That was extremely scary for me … but liberating at the same time. It was such an amazing experience for him. He had tons of adventures including seeing a tornado at the airport WHILE THEY WERE IN THE PLANE TRYING TO LAND.

  • Still July: James arrived home and WE WERE STILL IN WASHINGTON. Yes, not only did he travel around the world and come home. Then, he was on his own, taking care of himself, feeding himself, maintaining our home, but also learning to be on his own … so to speak. Meanwhile, I was in Washington praying that he didn’t burn the house down. šŸ™‚ Seriously. We get home 7 days after he did. What a joy to see my boy again!
  • August: Like many high school graduates, James still wasn’t 100% sure that he wanted to go to college. He hem-hawed about it all summer with no clear direction of what he wanted to do. He finally narrowed it down that he wanted to pay for college in full each semester without having debt (a very smart decision). He also realized that his true passion is guns. Ultimately he will go to gunsmith school in a few years, but for now, he has decided to get his real estate license and join our real estate team. He’ll be able to earn money for college and can pay for it in cash. He also started his first “real” job and is looking forward to doing that and saving money for his real estate license. Meanwhile, he’s taking his real estate classes, testing, and should be fully licensed before the year is out. He’s paying for everything himself and has recently even gotten on his own cell phone plan. Those are BIG changes for him…and us.
  • October: Here we are – 10 months into a major year of adjustments and changes. And you know what? We’re all alive. We’re all thriving. We’re all just living for the moment and being exactly where God called us each to be. Whew.

What did I learn this year? I feel like God was just telling me all year…”Just let go, Meredith! I’ve got him. Trust me. He was mine before I entrusted him to you.” So, I’m trusting God. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I’m doing it…one day at a time…one event at a time. No one said parenting is easy. If they have, then they’re not parenting.

But you know what? God’s right. Duh, right?! God knew James before I ever did. He knew Bubba when he was being formed in the secret place (Psalm 139) and He’s already made plans for Bubba. I just need to get out of God’s way and James’ way and let them work through it together…wherever God leads James.

What do I do now? Well, I pray and I keep praying – every single day – for …

  • James to follow His God-given path.
  • God to protect James each and every day.
  • God to give me wisdom on how to proceed from here on out. My job’s not done…I just have a somewhat less involved role.

God is good all the time…and all the time God is good. Trust Him. He’s got this.

Meredith Duke

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