Ready or Not!




This whole thing has gone way too fast for my liking. My boy is all grown up, but still my boy. He graduates tonight. Among the seniors at his school, Joshua won the science award at the honors ceremony Wednesday. Eileen and I are very proud of him.

But I’ve been choking back the tears for a month.

There is much to celebrate, and much to look forward to about tomorrow. At the same time, I know that 50% of kids Joshua’s age disengage from their faith during their college years. Quite honestly, that statistic terrifies me. The environment is rough. A recent Harvard/George Mason study revealed that at least 25% of college professors self-identify as agnostic or atheist. In case you’re wondering, the general population scores at 5-7%. Contemporary academia seems to breed unbelief. God, please save our kids.

So, friends, this is a huge trust-the-Lord season for me. (I know every season is, but this one actually feels like it.)

Just a few years ago, Josh wrapped his little toes around my fingers. We played in the snow. We fake-wrestled. We read “Imogene’s Antlers” and C.S. Lewis. We watched The Sandlot. We camped out on the beach.

Then I did something stupid. I blinked.

Some parts of being a dad I’ve done O.K. at. Other tests of fatherhood and parenting I’ve failed miserably. Josh has taught us patience. But, truth is, we have taught him the same. I guess we’re all works in progress.

I must tell you that the parts of Joshua’s childhood I’ll miss the most are not the expensive “special” vacations or the notable milestone moments. What I will miss the most is the ordinary. I wake up. Josh is there. I come home. Josh is there. I settle in for the night. Josh is there.

But, today, there’s a cap and gown hanging in Joshua’s room. I can barely look at it. Lord, I need grace to trust You with this. I feel so small, and I feel like I’m releasing my boy into an awfully big world. In August, we will drive a man to the University of North Georgia. (Or he will drive us.)

I already miss Imogene.


“For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him” (First Samuel 1:27). Thank You, Most Gracious God.

Josh, if you read this, I love you with all my heart.



Pastor Charles

Posted in Blog Posts
11 comments on “Ready or Not!
  1. Jo Ranval says:

    Bro Charles you sound so normal. You sound like every other parent that loves their child so much and has to let go and let God. Your faith will increase. Remember there are others of us who have been where you are. We can encourage you because Our God is Good, Our God is Omnipresent and Our God is Sovereign. Special prayers for all of you in the days ahead.Thanks for sharing your heart.

  2. says:

    Awe! It’s tough I have a preschool graduate and a kindergarten Graduation next week I’m sure by the time high school comes around I too will be a huge mess! Good luck Josh! Prayers Pastor Charles and Elieen

  3. Tracey says:

    Don’t fear…they never really leave. It really is okay.

  4. Deanna Bazzell says:

    You trained your child up in the way he should go. He will not depart from it. It does get better. You should be so proud that he is strong enough to go out into the world. He will be grateful for your love and trust!

  5. Terri says:

    It’ll be okay and make you even more of a pray-er. Our firstborn went off to The Citadel and we could not talk to him for 2 weeks, and had to wait for his call, before everyone had cellphones on them, AND a friend got the call because we were not at home! He was in great shape when he left but still lost 15 pounds – and alive. Graduations are such fun, nothing like those graduates’ smiles! Celebrate!!!

  6. Linda Hart says:

    It will be okay! This is where trust really takes the driver’s seat! And your relationship will take on a whole new dimension! I love my adult daughters on a whole new level and I think it is returned! Got your sub for recognition day yet???!! Just sayin’!

  7. Diane Lamm says:

    Just love the pictures and the story. First photo is just so perfect. You all look fantastic. Very happy for your family. Our twins are 50 and our youngest son is 49! Where did the time go? Only one lives close to us. Pray for Josh as he goes to school and you and Eileen as you adjust.

  8. Gloria meriwether says:

    Good luck to Josh. Good luck to you all too. It’s a really big step and hard to adjust. God bless and protect him.

  9. Janice says:

    We empathize with you. When we took our first child to Baylor U in Waco, TX, neither of us could utter a word on the return trip until Little Rock, and continued to be solemn the rest of the way in. It’s painful, no doubt, but we tried to be thankful our sons had the desire to go to college. It will get easier – somewhat. Then g’children come along and the joy and ache return as they, too, feel the desire to leave the nest. Prayers for peace for all three of you. Josh will be fine.

  10. Steve Warford says:

    “Been there… done that.” And, our daughter was among those who, away from home and her Christian friends from church, strayed from the practice of her faith. But we and the church had “trained” her right. We were disappointed but not defeated. As a young wife and mother of two, she was busy with her medical practice. Carolyn and I took the grand-kids to church each Sunday. They grew in their own “little” faiths among people who loved them and Jesus. Soon “Mama and Papa” took over our “chauffeur ministry” and there were three generations in the “Warford section”. From the mouths – and hearts – of little children… God is faithful!

  11. Rebecca Brown says:

    Thank you for showing us your heart. You’re going to see awesome things from him and from God going forward. Brian and I are just starting out with this parenting thing. We adopted our kids three years ago June 30th. It’s going too fast already. We are praying for your family. God bless!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *