Hero Crisis

It’s almost midnight.

Eileen and I are with Joshua for his first overnight college visit. We’re at the University of North Georgia: the Military College of Georgia. The campus is situated in the center of the picturesque mountain town of Dahlonega. Josh is in the barracks tonight. We are not.

Josh has been accepted into the university and the corps of cadets for the fall of 2018. Studying at one of the nation’s senior military colleges has been one of our son’s lifelong dreams, and here we are on the edge of the promised land. You would think that I would be excited, and I am, but I must tell you that I’m experiencing many other emotions at the same time.

Is Josh ready for college? Of course not. But neither was I when my senior year of high school raced by. It seems like only yesterday we were picking out our boy’s school clothes. Now we’re talking military apparel, foreign language study (Farsi and Russian, mind you), and specific degree requirements. How did we get here, and why did we have to get here so quickly?

As I write these words, I have no idea what Josh is doing tonight. Is he making new friends? Is he feeling comfortable? Anxious? Lonely? Energized? Is he having any second thoughts? I sure am.

It just hit me. I’m sad. Really sad. I’m not sad because I don’t want my son to have all of these new (and wonderful) experiences. I’m sad because of this: from this point on, many of the most significant moments in Josh’s life won’t include me. That’s as it should be, but I can still be sad about it.

I like the nightly tuck-you-into-bed. I like the daily review of “this was cool, Dad, and this was not.” I like the family giggles that no one else would even understand. I like to be needed, and I don’t even mind hero status, at least on occasion. Can I turn back the clock, please? Can I just turn back the clock?

I think I’ll cry tonight, at least for a few minutes.

12:06 a.m. I just got a text from Josh: “Love you, goodnight. See you tomorrow.” I can sleep better now. Not great, but better.


Pastor Charles

Posted in Blog Posts
18 comments on “Hero Crisis
  1. wanda lockett says:

    I remember having those feelings with each of my two sons, even though it was many years ago! You’ll get through it, but it won’t be the last time to cry. Indeed, the years do pass too quickly!

  2. Elizabeth (Liz) Langham says:

    Awe we are having the same feelings with all day kindergarten for Ella. Can’t imagine college! My thoughts and prayers are with you!!

  3. Linda Hart says:

    Yep! Sounds about right! Mixed emotions for sure and won’t be the last time that happens! Love you all and both you and he will survive! Stock up on Puffs with Aloe!

  4. Terri says:

    Our son went to the Citadel, the first two weeks are not allowed any contact and it was so grueling in the Charleston heat & humidity of August plus football drills and the crazy that plebes have to eat, that it was traumatizing for me and made for constant prayer. He was pretty lean anyway & always worked out compared to others, but when we heard from him he’d lost 10+ lbs and did survive, but it’s definitely rough emotionally on parents!!! We feel your pain! LOL! But an engineering degree completed in 4 years resulted in a great career and wonderful family that he has now, a great blessing to all, and praise to the Lord!

  5. Ralph VanPeursem says:

    Is sure do understand but also realize that your tears have developed because of your love of Josh which is personal and very unique. I saw it as it formed and saw it create a need for each other. You feel that it has been stolen and it has but it can never be taken from you. It has a permanent place in you mind and heart.
    Loving you from a distance.
    Ralph VanPeursem

  6. Roxie Jarvis says:

    Such sincere and heartfelt words! Thx for sharing your thoughts! So proud of Josh! The college years seem to b the fastest.. know he will grow even more in spirit and truth and will be so thankful for his very special , loving parents who supported and cheered him all the way to this new and exciting season of his life!! Love u all!! Roxie and Larry

  7. Carol Bell says:

    You are very normal, always hard for seasons to change with our children. But with each, there comes new, beautiful experiences! I pray many of those for you, your wife and son.

  8. Diane Lamm says:

    College!!!! Time really does fly by. How exciting for Josh and you and Eileen. So proud of Josh. Truly understand your mixed emotions. I still want to give our kids advice and hugs every day and our twins just turned 50! Our youngest son is 48. I know you are very close to Josh. How wonderful. Will be praying for all of you as you go through these life changes. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Janice says:

    How well I can identify with your mixed emotions-they were so long ago but still so fresh. Our boys thrived; Lynn and I survived. Thankful for their opportunities, God’s watch over them and His blessings on all of us. All three of you will do fine!

  10. Sarah says:

    Looks like you hit a nerve with all of us who have sent their “babies” to college. Psalm 56:3 and I became close friends. I have a feeling Josh will do just fine. it seems from everything you said God has been preparing him for years with his love for all things military. May God be glorified in this next step of his wonderful journey.

  11. Bill Temple says:

    I can’t believe Josh is entering College. What an exciting time. It’s kind of like good news and bad news. You expressed it well. Can’t wait to see and hear what God has ahead for Josh. A new season of parenting at the distance. Jesus is with him every step of the way. And you will pray without ceasing for him. We will too. Blessings.

  12. Carol Temple says:

    We so know how you feel We went through that with our daughters….first for college, then for their weddings! Now with 9 grandchildren, we thought they would stay little, but no. Now we’ve seen 7 of them off to college, moving them into dorms, etc. And now preparing for a wedding! Time flies—life is lived—God is good. All of the memories are precious—even the bittersweet goodbyes. Praising God for Josh and his Mama and Papa.

  13. These transitions are never easy. Praying for you in both French and English, Randy & Jan

  14. Teresa Followell says:

    I read this out loud to hubby and he said: “That sounds like you wrote that about our boys!” Life goes on. This is the beginning of a wonderful new season for all of you! 🙂

  15. Tim Carner says:

    I felt the same way last year when both of our kids went to college the same weekend. Lindee was alone when I started my night shifts for the first time in 22 years. It is difficult to say the least but I can tell you that when you see them have success on their own, the pride you will feel is indescribable.

  16. Wanda says:

    God Bless your family as U enter this new phase in Christian growth !

  17. Rebecca says:

    We are not in that season yet. Mine are still little but the thought makes my tummy hurt and my eyes water. May God bless this new chapter and make a new path visible. Love you

  18. Gwenn says:

    I have a touch of that feeling. My son just retired from the Army and he’s far from the same. And I have 2 grandsons entering the services (1 Army & 1 Marines)

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