Ruby Tuesdays: A Mighty Woman (part three)

Please join us over at Refreshmoments to read more Ruby Tuesdays’ posts. To read part one and two of my series, click here.

“She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night.” (Proverbs 31:18, NAS).
My lamp wants to.

Go out tonight.

But my heart refuses its dimming. Not because I don’t need it to; I need some rest. But rather because I have a stirring that forces my thoughts. A penned up feeling that has surfaced today; the first of its kind, at least as it pertains to this child. My second child. A boy who’s grown up too quickly and who, in two months time, will throw his cap into the air and declare his finish to his childhood.

I’ve been waiting for this feeling to surface all year, but for whatever reason, it waited until today to erupt. I was unprepared for its arrival and yet completely willing to entreat its sway over my mind and my emotion.

Butterflies.

Flutters of worry. Flutters of anxiety. Flutters of anticipation. Flutters of exultation. Flutters of “what’s next” and flutters about “how I’m going to walk this one through.” Flutters of all manner of feelings, rolled up into a few moments of pause.

It brought me to my knees and my tears accordingly. To my prayers and my hopes for how this thing … this future that remains to be seen … is going to shift my season, yet again. Two years ago, I walked this road with my first son. It was different then. Harder in many ways. Time has developed my trust for the process, especially because that time has been seasoned with good decisions and good provision that have grown us all in very good measure.

My gain has been very good. All those years of seeding the soil of my eldest son’s maturation have blossomed into a budding harvest of manhood. I imagine the same for my second son. I hope for it; I pray for it; I long for it to walk in similar and smooth transition.

It seems that it will, at least for today. Today, despite my flutters, the future seems to be narrowing—to be falling into sharper focus as to where my son will further his growing over the next four years. Four of the five colleges to which he’s applied have laid some ample offers at his feet. Good offers. Financial packages that we couldn’t have imagined for him on the front side of this process.

On the front side, we couldn’t see a way. With an older brother already in college and with us living within the budget of our single-family income, we couldn’t imagine how we would be able to afford him the education at the school of his choice. So I didn’t.

Imagine.

On the front side.

Instead, I simply left it in God’s hands.

Good hands. Hands that are completely capable and willing to hold the trust and faith of our hearts.

And now, on the backside of a strenuous and lengthy stretch, it seems that we will be able to afford them all. And the mighty woman in me, a woman longing to be found worthy of a ruby’s bestowing, is sensing a very good gain through the hands of a very good Father who understands the needs of his children and of his provision therein.

God has moved on behalf of our household, friends. And when I discerned it today, when I began to see the prayers of my long and deliberate trust beginning to unfold in our favor, all I could do was fall prey to my fluttering. From one emotion to the next until I found my knees and my subsequent thanks.

God gave me more than an answer today. He gave me the gift of faith … of seeing how my believing Him on the “front side” of an unknown can be walked in peace and assurance until the answer arrives.

Rarely have I done that. Rarely have I fully trusted Him with my prayers. Rarely have I believed that He was truly and faithfully going to work it all out. But this time—this season of trusting God with my son’s college outcome—was my rare exception. This time, I chose expectation over doubt. Faith over fear. Peace over panic. And tonight, from the backside, it seems to me to be a very good way to walk a journey.

In full assurance of a good gain because a good God stands at the helm.

Long ago and many seasons before this one, God lit his lamp within my heart. I’ve spent the better part of forty years tending to that wick. Some years have walked brightly. Some dim. Some pure. Some tainted. But all have walked with the possibility of a brilliantly lit faith. Today, my faith burned with a radiance that surpassed them all.

Today, faith grew, and tonight, God’s wick within me is flaming with a peace that has rarely been my portion. God has stoked my heart with a night’s burning that will remain, despite this body’s need for rest.

I can take that rest because my Father is faithful to tend to my all in my stead, on the front side of tomorrow … on the backside of today. My times are in his hands. So are yours. And that, my friends, is a good gain all the way around. As always,

~elaine

31 Responses to Ruby Tuesdays: A Mighty Woman (part three)

  1. I am going through the pains of a prodical daughter who has declared feelings for me that are hard to take. I know the pain, the anxiety, the frustrations of losing a child though it be in a different way. I am crging inside, screeming in agony for this child…yet I know He is there. I know He is in control. Somehow ther is peace, assurance, comfort…I too know this.

    In His Graces~Pamela

  2. “He gave me the gift of faith … of seeing how my believing Him on the “front side” of an unknown can be walked in peace and assurance until the answer arrives.”

    “I can take that rest because my Father is faithful to tend to my all in my stead, on the front side of tomorrow … on the backside of today. My times are in his hands. So are yours.”

    Elaine…thank you.

    Rejoicing with you and all the Lord is doing in, through and for your family.

    Have much more to write. Will ‘talk’ to you later.

    Hugs,
    Joy

  3. With three kids finished and one more to go, I know well the feelings you are going through. Faith is hard most days anyway, but especially with our children. I’ve had to remind myself many times that no one loves them more than the Lord – even moreso than me. Take your faith and let it completely enfold you and carry you through this transition.

  4. Thanks for sharing this Elaine. I agree with the previous poster who said sometimes faith pertaining to our children is the hardest of all. It’s good to hear the realization of the faith God is bringing to life. It does help so much when we’ve seen Him act on our behalf in the past and we see we can trust him for ‘this time’ too, doesn’t it? It doesn’t mean there isn’t still some ‘working it out’ to be done, but at least it brings us farther along in the process.

    Rejoicing with you in His provision and in your sons’ accomplishment.

  5. I like that: frontsides and backsides. Immediately I think of investments, or of planting & harvest, or of keeping one's lamp filled with oil. The line-upon-line layering of good choices and obedience that lead us straightaway to a good return.

    Great thoughts, Elaine. I doubt anyone will come and go without thinking of what they're doing on the frontside.

    Kathleen

  6. You moved me to tears this morning, sweet friend! Not only about your son, but the moments of belief and faith that you shared.

    “God gave me more than an answer today. He gave me the gift of faith … of seeing how my believing Him on the “front side” of an unknown can be walked in peace and assurance until the answer arrives.”

    That is something that I truly needed to hear and be remeinded of today. Yours is the second post that I’ve read that has touched on this topic that God and I need to discuss! I’m sure that someone else’s blog will also be a reminder as well!! God just happens to work that way in my life! He has to keep showing me these things over and over to get me to stop and realize that He’s talking to me! I just LOVE HIM!!

    Have a wonderful day, Elaine!

    Hugs,
    Susan

  7. This says it all for me:

    “God gave me more than an answer today. He gave me the gift of faith … of seeing how my believing Him on the “front side” of an unknown can be walked in peace and assurance until the answer arrives.”

    I think I’ll bottle that in my soul. As we trust God along with you. He’s amazing and His love and faithfulness is always so incredible.

    Thank you for sharing this MESSAGE OF FAITH!

    Love you.

  8. And God’s Hands are amazing
    HANDS TO BEHOLD!

    Thanks for the truth about learning to TRUST God. He truly is more than capable!!
    PRAISE HIM!!

    Looking UPward and Choosing JOY,
    Stephanie
    [In Flight]

  9. What a good place the Lord has given you. Having the gift of His peace when facing the unknown, especially for our children, is such a blessed gift from God. I have been through some dark hours with my children. Nights of praying myself to sleep, days of longing for their lives to be completely given to Jesus, moments, many moments of worry, for I knew there were some issues in their lives and hearts. But God is so faithful. So very faithfu! He walked me through it, and more than that, He set His word and kingdom in their hearts. They are men of God, and I praise His name for it!

    Elaine, you have sown good seed in your family. Your sons have seen your faith and love for the Lord, and they will run well. I thank God for the peace He has given you. I rejoice with you this morning! What a blessing! Your words, also are a blessing to many. Thank you for sharing your heart and faith with us today.

    In the Love of the Lord,
    Andrea

  10. As you know, I can absolutely relate to this post. With one son in college and the other graduating from high school this year, we have walked (and are walking) this same journey.

    Praise God for financial aid! Both of our boys will still have student loans when they graduate, but it is the financial aid that is enabling them to continue their education. We are still waiting to hear about some scholarship applications Bo has filed. He has another form to complete this week. Please continue to pray for him in this regard. I’m praying for you, Billy, and the rest of the family.

    Blessings to you, my friend…

  11. Elaine,
    I cherish this post as a precious ruby. I feel your journey and your struggle. While I’ve yet to walk that path as a mother, I know a time is coming all too soon. Your passionate words touch a place deep within me.

    Sometimes we look at what’s before us, we do the math and things just don’t add up. But as you’ve shown, in God’s capable hands He can make things come to pass we could never imagine…or orchestrate by our own toil.

    I’m praising God and celebrating with you!

    Blessings and love,
    Kelli

  12. Elaine, I just spent time in prayer last night with God about this very thing! Not my usual time with Him, where I tell Him everything I need, want, etc. But this time I asked Him to speak to me about what I needed to hear. And, it was all about trust and faith. My sometimes wanting to hold on and control everything prohibits God from doing all that He needs and wants to do in my life. He spoke to me about just letting Him take care of things and trusting things will work out.

    A lesson I needed to hear and one that relates to so many aspects of my life. I too, in another year, will send Aaron off to join his brother in college. I hate the very thought of it, because he will be out of my “control”. It is not easy to just trust, but I know it is necessary if I am going to live the life that God has in store for me, and also for my kids. I believe that I am missing out on so much that God has for me because I won’t completely, and fully, let go and let God!!

    I will pray for you as you look to letting go of Colton and letting him go with God. I remember him when he was little. Time has gone by so quickly!!! I can’t believe it!!

    Lori

  13. Praying with you, Elaine. Will probably be calling you in a few years for some of this reassurance too. Keep looking UP and leaning in…He hears you and will continue to guard the lives of your children, even grown up ones. Love you, friend.

  14. This morning as I drove to Bible study I was listening to Dennis Rainey on Family Life today. He was talking about almost the same thing as you discussed. He talked about how hard it is for parents….and especially mothers!…to let their young grow and go. He compared us to eagles. Eagles start tearing up their nest just as soon as the young eagletts are able to fly. We are sometimes just the opposite. We are just getting comfortable with our kids when they are the age to “start flying” and we want to keep them around. We want to be their source and supply for all their needs. He read a poem that was just wonderful. I tried to find it online for you but could not. I’m not for sure what the title was but something like “With These Hands”. He told about when their son Michael graduated from high school that their church had a special service for all the seniors. They had the seating arranged so that each graduate had their parents seated directly behind them during the service. At one point the parents were instructed to stand and put their hands on the shoulders of their child while this poem “With These Hands” was read. It was so good. I cried and that is not really a good thing when I’m driving! ha Having three grown up kids it sure brought back a lot of memories.
    You might like to go to http://www.familylife.com and listen to today’s program.

    God bless!

    Marilyn

  15. Remember, I did the same thing in 06. The Lord and I had many talks and I turned it all over to Him because He was the only one that could help. It stll is rough, but All things are possible through Christ.

  16. Oh, what an encouragement this post is, and what an incredible reminder to tend that wick. Trust and faith are such crucial parts of our relationship with Him. Thank you for sharing your journey, dear Elaine.

  17. This time, I chose expectation over doubt. Faith over fear. Peace over panic.

    I’m trying!! Thanks for an awesome post once again:)

  18. Thanks Elaine.

    This is one of those days that I’ve wondered if I still even had a light…
    But I do. 😉

  19. Beautiful.

    My oldest child is seven. If you think it’s too early for me to be thinking about her eventual adulthood, you’re wrong. I think about it. A lot.

    Which is why I’m so thankful for your words.

  20. Your mention of your son reminds me of this difficult and wonderful poem by Mary Karr (the title of which escapes me, but it’s in Sinners Welcome).

    They do grow beyond us. And we weep and we embrace this moment.

  21. I have sent two out into the world and a day does not pass that I thank God for answering the prayers of a young mom, who did not know how to love, but to love as close as the Father does, who did not know healthy disciplines, but sought Him again and again. I am blessed to watch my children step into the world clinging not to me, but to their passion, love and committment to God and His calling in their life. It still makes me cry to think of this season. But I have a long break before the next three come up, and lots more praying in the process. Thanks for sharing this part of your heart today.

  22. That is true, Mrs. Elaine, believing Him on the front side of an unknown brings a peace that passes all understanding, He is very good to us…happy graduation time for you all:):)
    He is our Provider!:)

    katiegfromtennessee

  23. wifeforthejourney:

    Thanks for allowing your readers a glimpse of your feelings during this second time of great change in our family. No doubt many of the blogging community no what it is to have an “empty nest” – I find myself wondering how we will feel in the coming days.

    Will our nest be half full, or half empty?

    Our family identity remains the same – and yet we are changing. Nick and Colton are not the 4 and six year old boys when we first started dating. Jadon and Amelia are no longer the toddler and newborn we have to chase and to feed.

    As much as I have alternated between wanting to fast forward, and sometimes pause our life together, I think today may be the first that I have thought I might like to “rewind.” To go back and relive our earliest days together….I’ll probably have a lot more of those kinds of thoughts on the other side of Colton’s High School graduation.

    Thank you for being a beacon to us all. I am so blessed that even if we feel half empty from time to time, I still know the joy of a relationship with the Lord and the blessings of a good woman.

    There may be some more elbow room in the nest – but it will never truly be empty.

    Thanks for another chance to say, I love you,

    Billy

  24. This is a beautiful piece as always. We are deeply thankful for all blessings that you receive, and we are happy for Colton and proud of him for his many achievements.

    Whatever school he chooses to attend will be blessed by his presence there. Congratulations to you ALL!
    Love,
    R&B

  25. Whew, Elaine. Katy’s only in the 6th grade right now, and I already tear up just thinking about this day.

    Praying Godly wisdom, above all, for your son, and the Lord’s richest reward for your full faith in His faithfulness.

    “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Proverbs 3:13-15)

  26. We are just beginning to look at colleges and decide where to send the SAT scores. Lots of decisions. The easiest decsion has already been made for us and it is is just what you said in your post. Using the gift of faith. Not always easy when it is your child.

    I tend to try and fix everything or make it better. Knowing good and well that there is someone far greater than me that knows what is better for our girl.

    This post is a great reminder to surrender it all to God. Praying for you and your son that God will lead you and guide you to make the best choice. What a tesimony!

  27. God is so good, so faithful in His provision. We’re on the other side of the college years now and let me just assure you that He will continue to provide. If you’re like us, you won’t be taking many vacations 🙂 but He will provide for your needs!

  28. Sister Elaine, I love how you brag on and on about our Lord! Keep it up!

    This is what the LORD says:

    “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches,

    but let him who boasts boast about this:
    that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.

    Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV

  29. Thanks for this reminder of our Lord’s gracious, extravagant provision–He meets our needs according to the RICHES of His grace, yes and amen!

error: Content is protected !!