Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shaggy's God Adventure! - Part I

Most of you know by now that our oldest son, known around here as Shaggy, recently left home for a 6 month missions training program with Youth With A Mission (YWAM).  I thought you might want to know a little bit more about the program and what he's doing there for this season of his life.

Back when he was cyber-schooling at home and the "college push" of his junior year was upon him, he really felt unsettled by the huge variety in types of schools, locations of schools, and thousands of different majors to pursue. We didn't push any of it on him, rather, encouraged him to start looking around and investigating all the options that sounded interesting to him. Apparently, that wasn't enough "relief" of the pressure - he was overwhelmed with calls, mail, websites, and the like. And when Shaggy has lots of options in front of him, he feels incredible pressure and responsibility to check out ALL the options. To research extensively. To analyze deeply and thoughtfully. It's how he's wired.

At about the same time that he was feeling all this pressure to check out school, he was spending time with a close friend who was a year ahead of him in school. She was in much the same boat, but was researching another kind of option entirely. Her parents had introduced the concept of a "gap" year to her and encouraged her to give a year of ministry to the Lord, to grow and to seek His plan for her life. She was heading to a ministry training program called YWAM. The program was unfamiliar to him, so he immediately dug in and started checking it out. He was quite intrigued by the idea. And shocked when we offered him the same option. He had always assumed that we were only willing to consider the "straight to college" plan, mostly because we have always made it very clear to the kids that our plan and expectation is for them to get a college degree. Which, is our plan and expectation. But, what I guess we didn't think to communicate was that we were open to and excited about the idea of our kids taking some time to figure out what that looked like for them. That we were open to the path having a bit of a round-about on the way.

That conversation began a season of thoughtful conversations, intentional prayer, and again, more research. Shaggy is nothing if not thorough when presented with his options. Early last winter, The Boss and I  felt sure that we knew what the plan was to be. But we also knew that Shaggy needed a deadline enforced to help him STOP researching and start trusting that what he was thinking and feeling was, in fact, God leading him to a decision. So we gave him till February 28th to let us know what he felt was the plan he wanted to pursue.

The long and short of it is that he finally settled in his heart that YWAM was an adventure he wanted to pursue. And the Musician's Discipleship Training School (MDTS) offered just outside of Denver completely captivated him with its scope, its purpose, and its location. He's our "cold weather dude" and just loves snow, mountains, and the idea of the ruggedness of the Colorado landscape.  However, mid-way into the planning, he discovered that if he chose this location, he would be unable to come home for the Christmas holiday.

THAT was a set-back that we needed to consider and pray over. Because Shaggy is also our "Christmas kid." He's the one begging for the Christmas music by the first week in November. He's the one that gets the "twitches" on the morning that we cut our tree, and again on Christmas Eve. He gets positively huggy and silly when we begin our baking. He's really a big, sappy, traditions-wallowing marshmallow from early November till early January. It's adorable. Anyway, he needed to figure out if he was willing to give that up for this first year out of school. We gave him permission to do whatever he felt was the right thing to do, with no pressure from us.

I'll be frank. Those couple days of praying and considering were harder than even thinking about him going all the way to Denver in general. To sit back and think of the holidays without him and figure out how to be okay with that if that was his decision. I'm still not thrilled with it, but knowing that he feels strongly that THIS particular DTS is where he is supposed to be balances my momma-dread. For now.

Get back to me in December. And pray for me, ya'll....

But I digress.

Come back tomorrow and I'll share with you a little bit about the program and what Shaggy gets to do for these coming months. He could really use your support and prayer - he's already feeling stretched and pressed and changed by the Truths that God is pouring in to him.

1 comment:

Aus said...

Y'all know that I think Shag-man is extremely cool right? Just sayin' - dude seems to have is head on right. And a tough call - but I "get it"...seems he does too!

hugs - aus and co.