We've been through this once already with Brenton. He spent two years going to Calvary Chapel Bible College in Southern California and then three years after that as a youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Corvallis in Oregon. It was hard on all of us to have him so far away and we're so thankful to have him back here in Gloucester. He's doing most of the teaching at Calvary Chapel Gloucester (To hear the messages go here: CCGloucester messages), leads our prayer meetings and the Lord is doing great things through him in our church. He is also an assistant manager at a nearby Starbucks so we're thankful he's able to work and live here.
We obviously hope that Taylor and Ethan will find jobs nearby and want to have them close to the family. But we trust completely that they will be led by the Lord in whatever they do. And it's just beginning for us ... Evie will be a sophomore next year at Virginia Commonwealth University and just signed a lease on an apartment up there that she is getting with a few friends. Claire expects to head off to a four-year college next year and MerriGrace expects to start classes in the fall at a local community college. Abram is now 16 and just got a job at McDonald's ... there's a lot going on around here on a daily basis, you know?
We were able to Skype with Taylor and Bethany on Friday night and it's exciting to hear about how they are nearing graduation and all the things in play for their next step. They're such a sweet young couple and are people who brighten whatever room they are in.
Ethan was home for a few days over spring break and had spent the first part of the vacation up in Detroit with some friends as part of a ministry team serving people in need in the Motor City. We were exchanging texts throughout his time up there and he texted me something I found quite interesting. He was talking about young adults having a relationship with the Lord and how that looks and how parents can cultivate that in their kids.
He said something I find quite interesting and it's a tribute to Julie. Ethan was one of those teens who was definitely a work in progress. There were many battles, a few scars, but we fought hard for him. I remember particularly Julie and Ethan having long "discussions" late at night about various issues. What I always appreciate and love about Julie is that she doesn't give in and always comes at life's situations from a Godly, Biblical perspective. She's also very intent on ensuring that our children own their faith so that when they leave this house and go out into the world they are prepared to deal with whatever comes their way from a position of strength as a follower of Jesus.
Ethan was reminiscing about growing up in his texts and wrote: "I remember growing up Mom used to make me make things right with the Lord before I came and apologized to her." You can't have peace with the world -- or parents, for that matter -- unless you have peace with God. Peace with God means peace with the world. Jesus said in John 14:27 (one of my favorite verses), "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Peace is a treasure and it's a gift from God, especially in this season of change in the Sabo house.