I could never have planned how Burke’s first year out of high school would be. In a million years I would have never imagined we’d get to spend so much “bonus” time together. Never could have imagined we’d be co-workers or that he would be going to University of Kentucky or joining the Air Force. What an unexpected blessing it has been to get an extra year to watch my boy grow more into a responsible young man and to enjoy his friendship in between what was and what will be.

While last year at this time I may have lost it completely if I had to bear another loss (even knowing he would come back on holidays), this year I am just thankful and amazed at God’s incredibly gracious provision for us as parents, for Burke and his brothers, for opportunities that would never have fit into his or our limited scope of imagination even just a year and a half ago. So, yes, come drop off day, I will shed tears. But I am just so thankful and grateful and excited for him. He’s ready mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. He has spent time reading for pleasure. He has learned to prioritize and steward his spiritual well-being with Christian fellowship and accountability. He has purchased all his own dorm supplies with his own hard-earned money and has stayed on top of all of his requirements and paperwork required by the Air Force. And we have been able to see him doing life without training wheels and only occasional parental assist.

I guess this is as much about me saying we are ready for this next phase, by the grace and mercy of God, as it is about promoting the many, many benefits of a working gap year.

We drop him off in 15 days. And God will continue to show himself faithful to all of us.

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