A scream of release was let out today by my first-born son, as he celebrated his last day of class in his school career. I think career is a good word for it, since learning has been the focus of his life for the past 18 years. Yet, somehow, as I look at the little boy in this picture and remember his first day of school on that hot September day in Tunis, Tunisia, I have many of the same emotions — a mother’s emotions in sending her child off to an unknown place with unknown teachers and unknown peers to an unknown result.
At times like this, a mother clings to the only Known in her life — the Living, Loving God, and takes a step of faith. For me, it was one of the biggest in my life; yes, even bigger than traveling halfway around the world, because it meant releasing my child and trusting God. As in so many ways in my life, He proved Himself worthy of my trust, and though not every day was an easy day for me or David, God carried him (and thus his mother) through.
David went to schools where he did not know the language, was a minority in race and religion, and even when he was in school in the USA, he was still a minority as a third-culture kid and Christian — just different surroundings, same challenges. David has been to school in Tunis, Cairo and Tennessee, faced Muslim classmates, secular classmates and a wide-variety of cultural differences. Yet, one thing remained the same — the God who helped him through that first school year in a Tunisian preschool saw him through the last year in college after his father passed away. If anything, David can tell you he’s faced challenges in his school career, but God has been faithful throughout.
So, as I rejoice with him on his “last day of school”, I know that as he continues to face the unknown days of life in the “real world” he has a Heavenly Father who goes before him. His mother’s emotions are the same, and she cries on this day as she did on that first one so long ago, but she also whispers a “thank you, Lord” to the One who carried her child through each of the foreboding school doors and brought him back through having learned, achieved, made friends, and grown in knowledge, faith and in favor with God and man. Thank you, Lord. Happy Last Day of School, David.