It wasn't easy when Garrison was a Kindergartner...
And it wasn't easy today with him as a 4th grader (last day of Elementary)!
I used to literally want to keep him in a bubble. I used to want to shelter him from all of the brokenness in this world. But as I was praying this morning the thought came across my mind, "Break my heart for what breaks yours." And it hit me. I WANT Garrison to see the brokenness in this world. I WANT him to have a broken heart for those that are far from God. I WANT him to see that not everyone is like him. I WANT him to see that some children don't get love and attention from their parents at home and maybe that is why they act out at school. How is he ever going to learn to have compassion for others and love them like Jesus loves them if he doesn't see first hand how broken our world is?
And all of these recent situations started flooding through my mind.
I am GRATEFUL he had class with a kid who acted out (big time) in the classroom last year. This kid cussed at the teachers, threw desks, ripped up kids' papers and eventually got kicked out of school. But you know what? Garrison showed him Jesus. He tried talking to the kid and being a friend to him. He tried telling the kid he wasn't going to make friends if he acted that way. And we talked about this kid and how awful his home life must be if he feels the need to act like that in school. And we prayed for him.
I am GRATEFUL Garrison was bullied at Alpha Best this past summer. It was HARD for this mama to watch and my mama bear was right on the edge of coming out. But you know what? Garrett had a talk with him about how he had to learn to stand up for himself. And Garrison conquered the situation - yes, by punching the kid in the face, but trust me, after he slapped, punched and choked Garrison he had it coming. And Garrison learned independence, self worth and confidence in that situation. Just to clarify, we do not condone violence but we do want to encourage him to stand up for himself when he is being physically bullied.
Now, I'm not saying I would have wanted him to be exposed to all of this at once as a 6 year old Kindergartner. But what I'm saying is I am learning that it is okay, even good, for him to start seeing the brokenness in our world. How else is he ever going to have the passion to change it if he doesn't see it?
So my revelation today was simple. I want God, in His time and His way, to break Garrison's heart for what breaks His. I want him to start shaping and molding my 9 (almost 10) year old into the young man God has designed him to be. And some days that will mean I need to let go of my control freak, mama bear, protective nature. Because God is constantly reminding me that these boys are His, not mine. And while I am entrusted to raise them, a big part of that is showing them that our God is SO much bigger than the brokenness of this world. And part of our job, as His followers, is to remind this world how great He really is.
Here is a picture of both of my loves this morning. Ethan started Pre-K B today. He decided to wear his new (hand me down) Cowboy boots. Great choice, E! It may be 100 degrees outside, but great choice!