Today I put my husband and son on a plane bound for California – the place of dreams for my 19-year-old son – as far back as he and I can remember. I remember 10 years ago while on a family vacation – we were in L.A. and driving by the U.C.L.A. campus in Hollywood – and Shawn saying – ‘I’m living here someday’. And although he will be attending Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and not U.C.L.A. – it feels the same to him – he will be living his dream of “someday”. And we have all learned that today – “someday” has arrived.
I have many memories of my son as I think of him trying to navigate in strange surroundings and remember that he was the child who did NOT like anything strange and unfamiliar. He would hang back – ponder and take his time on everything – even as a young child. One time when he was three and staying the afternoon with my parents – they couldn’t find him – he was playing “hide-n-seek” and took it seriously being very still and quiet – even when they called and called him. They freaked out and called the police because they were sure he had run away or something terrible had happened to him. I came back from my errand and they told me “not to panic” but they couldn’t find Shawn! Because I know my son – I was confident it just was NOT in his nature to run off and knew he must be hiding. As soon as he heard my voice – he came out – and was bewildered that there were police there – not understanding what all the fuss was about!
He has been a shy, timid and thoughtful child his whole life – growing into a kind and generous human being with a great sense of humor. He has what Greg and I have always called “the X-Factor” – charm, good looks and talent. He has also made and kept many friends – one in particular, since he has been three years old. This is the mark of an excellent person – one who keeps friends, his promises and cares deeply about others. But he has never been one to venture too far from home. Oh he’s gone on the occasional trip with friends and even some missions trips with church – and one memorable trip to help with the relief effort in Haiti this last December – but he always came back home. There was always the safety of knowing where he came from and felt our arms of love and protection over the years.
As his talent grew and made way for him – we saw him blossom – and God use him in incredible ways with his music – and particularly his drumming. We’ve been proud of him, self-taught like his Dad and I’ve been proud to have been his singing and piano teacher for a time in his earlier life because I believe it gave him the foundation to teach himself guitar as well and develop as a song writer and worship leader.
Leaving home for bigger horizons was just a matter of time – and we have known this day would come for about two years now. But God as been preparing all of our hearts and so beautifully blessed him financially and with a wonderful support system of friends and family.
But still – like any parent I ask myself these questions:
Did I do enough?
Was I a good enough example – with all my flaws and failures?
Did I prepare him enough?
Will he cling to Jesus in his darkest and loneliest days so far from home?
Will his faith sustain him?
Will he remember all the things we tried to teach him?
Were we good enough role models?
Did we love him enough?
Did we live what we believed?
If you are like me – you probably wonder the same thing as your children grow up and begin to step into the world and have their own lives. As they begin to launch. I’m thankful that God makes up for any lack that I may have – and He understands that I am flawed and human. I also know beyond all question that Shawn was given to me to raise – and not someone else. God knew that I was exactly what Shawn needed me – flaws, mistakes, shortcomings and all. And because I know that to be true – and that He loves Shawn even more than I do - I can rest and know that all is well.
And so the journey continues – our son who was a special gift on loan to us – is off to pursue and live his dream. And we release and bless him to be everything that he can be – to be a blessing to others and follow God’s voice in his life.
When was the last time you wondered if you had done enough? Have you ever felt inadequate?