January 5, 2011

Finding Balance

Well, today is my son's New Student Orientation class at Paradise Valley Community College.  I am excited for him, and I know that he will love going to college.  He is so ready, and I think the fact that he has been homeschooled the past six years has helped.  A lot of students leave high school and head to college burned out.  They are not interested in another four years of the educational grind.  My son has been ready for college for about a year, but lacked the social maturity to begin classes.  He was academically ready, but needed more time to learn how to manage his own calendar, be responsible for his commitments, etc.  Like most normal 15-16 year olds, he was more interested in having fun with his friends, then in studying hard and pursuing an academic goal. 

He is ready now, and I am so thankful for our college system which offers tuition support to honor students.  Even though my son was homeschooled, he did well enough on the placement tests to be awarded a scholarship for free tuition.  I am blessed financially, and he will now be able to attend school for two years for free.  God is so very good to us.

The thought of him attending college is a scary one, but not in any worrisome kind of way.  He is a good boy, and I trust him.  It is more of letting him go, letting him grow up, and leaving me, that is hard to digest.  Yes, it must be, but I think every parent has that wincing feeling when their baby goes off to school (though some cannot get their kids out of the house fast enough!)  In my case, my son is a gem and I have greatly enjoyed his companionship.  Plus we have a strong bond developed through schooling, and this is something I cherish greatly.  I am ready for him to go on to school, and I am so ready to be done with homeschooling -- but I still get that pang in my heart whenever I think about him being 17 and at college now.  It is just a matter of time until he will go away to school, and find a career, get married, and move on with his life.  It is hard to deal with, but it is a part of life.  I am ready for it.

As I think about him going away to school, this thought occurs to me.  I am a single person now, and though I share my home with my husband (we are not divorced yet), soon I really will be all alone.  That thought doesn't bother me as much as the thought of seeing my son go far away.  I am more at ease with the idea of being single than with the reality of being a Mom with children living far away from her.  Weird, isn't it?

God knows me best, and I am blessed that He has chosen to keep my son nearby for the next two years.  A lot will happen in the time, and hopefully, I will become fully engaged in my own pursuits (school, work, ministry, etc.) and not find my alone time so difficult to handle.  I was in a DivorceCare program last year (for a short while only), and the thing that struck me most was the lonliness of the women in the support group.  Many of these women had sought men to console their hurt after divorce, and many were seeking support for their second-time wounds.  The program strongly advocating waiting one full year before engaging in any kind of opposite sex relationship, but apparently it is very common for wounded people to seek the comfort from another person rather than from the Lord.

At that time, I wasn't interested in that sort of thing, having just come through the crushing details of my own marriage failing.  I was turning to the Lord, living for Him, and not interested at all in the opposite sex.  It is not that I wouldn't welcome that sort of relationship down the road, but for the forseeable future, I am very content to be alone and in one relationship only -- a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Balance, therefore, is key to everything in life.  You cannot be happy nor successful if you allow your scale to dip to one side only.  Many people do this, put everything on one side of their scale, only to find that they are just as unhappy as when the scale tipped the other way.  Balance is what works best, but keeping everything in balance requires a steady hand, a steady heart, and a steady focus or gaze.  The Word tells us to fix our eyes upon Jesus, to not look to the left or right, but to focus upon Him and His Word to us.  If we do this, the Word tells us, then we will find our paths marked straight (or smooth, going up and not down).  God wants us to be balanced individuals, but He knows that we cannot do this on our own.  Our focus and gaze must be upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and in doing so, then we will find the way to manage our life, to keep everything in check, and to always be moving straight up (forward).  God is Good.

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