I've heard it said along the way, that there comes a point when you just have to let go and let them fall.
I knew that.
What I didn't know was that the letting go would be felt so deep by this Mama, that the falling would come so soon.
I didn't know that no matter how much we pray against the sin, that the Cowboy and I and the treasures, we're all just a bunch of sinners growing up together under one strong farmhouse roof... a home held up by His grace.
On the way up the mountain this afternoon I thought about my boy and the week the two of us have had together. The Fall leaves in all their color and glory. The first snow coming early this year and our annual trip up the mountain reminding me that some of the most beautiful things in this life come out of not being afraid of the fall.
This week in the farmhouse there was a lot of dying going on... dying to self... dying to sin. My boy and two friends found some Pop Tarts in the barn and decided to dig in after this Mama had made it clear that there was to be no dessert. One of the friends felt convicted and confessed to her Mama. And when her Mama confessed to this Mama, my heart sank. I could have cared less about the Pop Tarts. What broke me was that deceitfulness had tempted my son, and won.
There's something in a Mama's heart that hopes that the world and it's ways will somehow bypass her own kids... that somehow her kids will grow up without the weight of their own sin bogging them down. But sin doesn't have to bog. Mistakes can make us stronger.
I knew that I would have to walk with my son through this choice that he had made. I knew that my response could impact him one of two ways, away from Christ or towards Him.
And after I confronted my boy and asked him to wait fro me in the bathroom, I prayed my heart out that it would somehow be the latter.
You see, I have no idea what to say to a boy who's been captivated by Pop Tarts. What I wanna say is, "Son, RUN! Run as fast as you can away from these things in this life that try to ensnare you. Run as fast as you can from these things that dress up in bright colors and tempting flavors and seem so delicious in the moment, but sooner or later turn around and devour you when all along you thought that you were the one devouring them! RUN!
I got the other treasures ready for bed and my son sat in the bathroom for 45 minutes and waited. Waiting... pure torture for a six-year-old boy who knows he's made a bad choice.
Finally I found the courage to walk though that bathroom door only to find my first born sitting on the floor looking up at me with tear-swollen eyes.
"I'm so sorry Mama. I'm just so sorry."
A repentant heart. An answer to my 45 minutes of prayer.
I sat that precious treasure of mine on my lap in that bathroom and looked straight into him.
"Siah, I don't care about the Pop Tarts. Do you understand that? It's your heart. It's our relationship. It's the trust between the two of us that I don't want to lose. As you grow, Mama won't always be there when you have choices to make. Did you feel yucky in your heart when you were eating that Pop Tart? That my son, is the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Next time you feel that way, listen."
"I need you to pray for me Mama. I need God's help."
Don't we all need a whole lot of God's help?
And so I prayed whole-heartedly over my boy...
"Sweet Lord, thank you for your grace. Thank you that when we mess up, you draw us in, speak your very truth into us, and strengthen us to try again. Strengthen my boy Lord. Make him courageous in the presence of his peers to turn and RUN from the things that break your heart. May he make wise choices simply because He loves You and because you're worthy of our obedience. Thank you Lord for my son's humble heart. May he know your unfailing forgiveness. Strengthen him to live solely for your glory."
He hugged me... still broken.
"I forgive you bud, but even when we repent, we still have to pay the consequences to our actions. And right now, our circle of trust has been broken. So together we're going to spend the next days and weeks trying to rebuild it. You won't be able to play with your friends at all for the next three days. Then after that you'll only be able to play with them with an adult in close proximity."
He sobbed... and it broke my heart and the last thing I wanted to do was to follow through. But I know that often times we can give our treasures a great gift in the following through of consequences.
A little bit of time has passed and we've had days to rebuild a bit of what was lost. Together we wrote a letter to those friends who had joined him on the Pop Tart detour that one Fall night not to long ago... a letter that we spent a whole day creating, writing, and reading. He read it all by himself to his friends.
And on the walk home across the farm fields he slipped it into his pocket and looked up at me,
"I'm not gonna forget Mom. I'm not gonna be sneaky anymore. And each time I'm tempted, I'll just pull my letter out of my pocket and it'll remind me to chose God."
And as we drove switch-back up the mountain today after church, with a caravan of treasure friends trailing close behind, I saw all the endless sea of Fall leaves hanging onto nearly dead branches. I thought about the seasons. Thought about how even though the leaves are dying, somehow He still makes them so beautiful.
We break and we fall around here.
My prayer is that He would take our fall and mold it into something beautiful for His glory.