As we neared the time for my oldest son Blake to leave for Ouachita, I began to ask God to give me peace and direction on being a mom – my most loved and highest calling – 100 miles away. What would it look like? How was I to be his mom without seeing him at the breakfast table, walking by his room and praying over him while he slept, hearing “Mom” 100 times a day, watching every hole of golf he ever played? I treasured these sweet times for us all. But, as always, God gave me direction and peace.
At the time, I was doing a Bible study that involved spiritual markers – marking the things in your past to help you see how God has been and is at work in your life. “That’s it!” I thought. “That’s what we will do; create a spiritual marker on Ouachita’s campus.” It would be a place where we will claim His bringing our sons to OBU, where we will claim His omnipresence, His promise to guide our boys in the good times and bad. It would be a place we could visualize and pray alongside them when they had a crisis or a time of praise.
My sons both chose a picnic table in the Speer Pavilion area by the river as their special place. What a precious time for our family, dedicating a place to experience God together though we were far apart. We prayed and read 1 Samuel 1:27-28: “‘I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.’ And he worshiped the Lord there.”
We had given them to the Lord before the womb but now we had to leave them with the Lord. Having that marker to go back to when they needed that reassurance and that we could use to visualize them there as we prayed was such a comfort to our family. I hope it will be for you too. I encourage you to leave them and let God prepare them to lead and make disciples.
But be careful where you choose! Sometimes you will need some mosquito spray and waders. Blake called one day when the pavilion had flooded, and we joked, “Hope you don’t have a crisis!”
Jana Sisson and her husband, Stan, are parents to Blake (’09), Bailey and Brooks (’11)
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