Tonight this mama’s heart is burgeoning with an eclectic mix of excitement, anxiety, joy and sadness- none of which I was entirely anticipating. Tomorrow, our firstborn child aka Captain Responsible or Master Maturity departs for his longest stint away from home, and his first of hopefully many overseas adventures; a mission trip to Cambodia with his school.
Throughout these last fifteen years I’ve come to realise that motherhood is simply (oh the oxymoron that is the word ‘simply’ in this context) a perpetual journey of learning to love wholeheartedly; whilst simultaneously letting go.
In the lead up to Master Maturity’s epic adventure I have dispensed as much advice as his fifteen year old ears will entertain. These included awkward, blush-inducing ‘hygiene tips for humid climates‘ (seriously, don’t ask), to personal safety and security hints, before segueing into the deeper things, the things that really matter, the things I hope will penetrate his spirit. I am left now with prayers that linger on my lips, and dance around my heart. And though I lack wisdom in many of my feeble ways, I possess enough of it to recognise that love-fueled prayer is the most powerful tool that I clumsily wield in this crazy-beautiful time.
I pray that our son will allow his heart to be broken in all the right ways. I pray that as he meets, holds and comforts orphaned children, abandoned by their parents for a myriad of no doubt complex reasons (none of which can nor will be judged by me, for I have not walked in these parent’s shoes), I pray that my boy will feel his heart both sink and swell.
I pray that he will observe beauty amid disfiguration.
I pray that as he holds precious hands, he will take the time to silently, and if appropriate- openly speak words of life, destiny, purpose and blessing into the hungry hearts of those he is graced to encounter.
I pray that as he steps far out of his comfort zone and combs lice from the infested hair of children, he will not feel repulsion, but instead, deep love. May he recognise that these acts of service are the manifestation of that love, and it is here, in these acts of service that true leadership begins.
I earnestly pray that no amount of self-righteous thinking will seek to well up within him as he hands out gifts he has chosen to distribute to children in need, nor as he labours under an unforgiving sun for a harvest he will not see. For I understand how it may be easy to become entangled in this type of thinking, knowing that he is indeed doing good. May he instead choose to walk in humility, recognising each and every encounter for the great honour it is. May he comprehend that these precious individuals have allowed him to step into their world, if only momentarily, sharing this never again time and place in history to truly look upon and see one another, connecting on a spiritual level.
May he embrace the epiphany that the gift of their receiving, will in fact far exceed anything he could hope to bestow upon them.
I pray that as My boy tours The Killing Fields, he will allow his humanity to be affected by the almost incomprehensible of atrocities that occurred there. May he burn with the anger that accompanies injustice, and may it ignite within him a passion to speak up in instances great and small where courage is needed to fight for those who are oppressed!
I pray that as my boy walks the streets absorbing foreign sights, aromas and sounds, that he will allow himself to feel uncomfortable with the privilege he carries as a young, white male; educated and born into a country that although oft flawed, pulsates with possibility and abundant opportunity to thrive. May his ‘status’ make him self-conscious until he sees it as an onus. May he become acutely aware that with great privilege great responsibility must ensue… For we are not born into freedom simply so we may passively and idly observe those who are not.
I pray that this child, who has far too quickly become a man, comes back not changed, but divinely enhanced.
I pray that the phenomenal qualities that already and quite obviously exist within him, will be accentuated and enriched by this opportunity of a lifetime.
Perhaps after reading some of these prayers, you feel you’d like to join me and say ‘Amen’ (so be it), to connect with, and support this struggling mama’s heart, as I once again learn to let go; in order to authentically love.