In Transition: A Mother's Perspective

Annesley Macfarlane is the mother of three sons: Sammy (UVa grad), William and Jamie.  She and her family live in Greenwich, Connecticut.  Summer is a time when many of us---parents, children, faculty---are in transition.   We've asked Annesley to talk about the changes her family experienced during the boys' college years and where she found God in the midst of it all.: I have a new motto: "Try and enjoy all you can about the minutes because they soon become years". I made it up last week as I reflected on the realities and emotions that often come in early June. June brings transition. Graduation. First jobs. Spring to summer. School to camps or summer internships. Most of these transitions are celebrations but many  can be tinged, or even paralleled, with sadness.  Where have the years gone?

Transition can't stall time, as perhaps we would wish, but it often fosters consideration of how we have lived. Should we have done things differently this past year, or years? Could we have done things better? Have we  built a strong enough Faith foundation? Were we attentive to God's direction for our family?

I watched our middle son drive out of our driveway this afternoon for his summer job 5 hours away. His last college exam was yesterday, he took the red-eye, and I picked him up at the airport this morning.  We washed his clothes and repacked them all day, squeezing in a few appointments he needed in town. We also managed to fit in a birthday celebration for my husband and a 5 minute family prayer time that felt too rushed. Our son was here 8 hours and then gone.

I knew today was precious.  I tried to absorb the minutes but the day has come and gone  and my heart aches. Yes, he is doing something wonderful this summer, even God-centered,  but it still hurts to see him go. Family is a beautiful design God gave us and it can be painful when the family no longer resides together most of the time.

I don't transition well. I am pretty sure I needed tissues at Pre-K graduation. I tend to prefer the "old days" and the "old ways" to all the change that is constantly thrust upon me. I am learning to store things up in my heart and to recognize that embracing what is ahead doesn't diminish what is behind. God gives us seasons. New adventures for us and for our children.

Colossians 1:10-12 is a wonderful passage and I pray it for our three boys. "And we pray this in order that you many live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." Amen