For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)
If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. It has a ring of truth, but, I think it’s not exactly right. It should be, if Mama’s kids ain’t happy, then Mama ain’t happy and then, ain’t nobody happy especially Daddy. I just happen to be in a happy phase and yes, that means, my sons are happy as well. (and Daddy, too, by the way) Yesterday, we took youngest son to Fire Academy orientation. He had to be there no later than 9:00 because “at 9:00, the door will be shut and locked and no one will be admitted late.” He didn’t want to take a chance so insisted we be there by 8:00. We could not attend the orientation (I guess if you are going to be a fireman, you don’t need your Mama with you), so we wandered around taking in a farmer’s market, community museum and some small shops as we waited. We eagerly anticipated hearing all the details but were surprised when we reconnected and he seemed subdued. “So, how was it?” we pried, and the first thing out of his mouth was, “It’s going to be really expensive.” When we had reassured him that was why we’d put money in a savings plan faithfully every month since he was born even in those months when we weren’t even sure he would graduate high school (well, I didn’t remind him of that), he brightened up and began to talk a mile a minute. He was so excited and happy that I thought my heart would burst with joy. Later in the day, I went to the grocery store and met an acquaintance who I hadn’t seen in a long time. She asked about the boys, and I enthusiastically told her about youngest son’s graduation and plans for the future. Immediately, she tried to squelch my excitement. Had I thought about the danger? Her son-in-law is a fireman. It took him a long time to find a job. He was so disturbed by some of the things he saw that he had trouble sleeping. Firemen have a high burn out rate. I started to get that knot in my stomach again. The one I used to feel as soon as the stores stocked school supplies, and I knew the nightmare of getting youngest son to return to school would begin. The one that came every time I saw the caller ID was the school. The one I got whenever I thought about the odds of him succeeding at anything. I extricated myself from her tirade as soon as I could, but I was still anxious. Then, I remembered something. With all that youngest son has been through. With all that we have been through with him, God has proven Himself faithful over and over again. He has not brought youngest son to this point to let him fail. It’ll be alright. Son is happy. Mama’s happy. Daddy’s happy. We trust our Heavenly Father Who is smiling as well.