Sunday, October 11, 2009

S-t-r-e-t-c-h Marks

Everyday for the last four months of both of my pregnancies I slathered my belly in an aloe vera gel that was tauted to prevent stretch marks. Why I cared is beyond me, since I am not one who wears anything, ever, that would show my midriff. Nevertheless, my belly is free from the unsightly red marks that I worked so hard to avoid.

If only there were such a gel for my heart.

As my boys grow I am beginning to realize that their time in our home, as our children, is but another gestation period for their birth into adulthood. Now they are in the womb of our care, but someday they will leave us--men, ready to enter the world and do all that God has prepared for them to do. It is my heart instead of my tummy that now swells each time they grow, and while the stretching of my heart tells me that my boys are thriving and healthy, it also reminds me that eventually they will be too big for me to contain. And I do not want to contain them any more than a pregnant woman wants to stay pregnant forever. I am both eager to see the men of God that they will become and sad at the thought of no longer having them with me all the time.

But for now, they are still mine...or so I thought.

This week, in talking about some of the challenges that are before us as we plan to move to France, I found myself face to face with a hurdle that I had believed to be much further down the road. It seems that in looking over the schooling options, Graham thinks that he might prefer the highly acclaimed Black Forest Academy (a GEM missionary boarding school in Germany) over the public school option in France. Black Forest Academy is about 300 miles away from where we will be serving in France. Would God dare to ask me to live 300 miles from my boy? 300 miles from his thoughts? 300 miles from the possibility of a family dinner? 300 miles from his dry sense of humor? 300 miles from his rare, but occasional hug? 300 miles from his enormous appetite? 300 miles from his growing (but not grown!) spirit?

Can my heart bear a 300 mile stretch mark?

"And what about Chandler?" you ask. Yes. I am asking the same thing. Though only 16 months younger than Graham, he is still my baby. He doesn't even know what he wants. He will rely on David and I to decide. What a burden!

We have not made any decisions about this. There are other facets involved--like expenses that would have to be added to our support schedule to pay for boarding school--that will play in to the decision. Will you please pray for our family as we revisit all of the schooling options available for both boys?

GEM has an educational planning packet that we haven't even begun to work through. They also have staff members who are professional educators that will walk us through forming an educational plan for our kids. Perhaps God kept us from diving into this subject too deeply until now, when we are at least open to looking at all of the possibilities.

Graham is not in any way being rebellious. He is completely willing to go wherever God wants him to go, and he does believe himself to be a part of God's FOUR for France. I honor him for bringing this difficult subject to our attention in a very respectful and humble way.

We will keep you posted as we prayerfully ask God to reveal His highest and best for our boys. We know that His will is good, pleasing, and perfect, so as we discover His will for Graham and Chandler, we will walk in it with great confidence and peace.

1 comment:

  1. Well. That's kind of. big.

    We are praying for you, knowing full well the depth of God's good and merciful plans for your family.