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  • Writer's pictureTara L. Banks


To celebrate the start of school - I give you a throw-back pause from a few years ago. May this pause on the first day of school remind us that He can be trusted - with all of it. - TB

It came today before my eyes were even open. I could feel it compounding as I peered out with one eye from behind the covers.

"Not today, Lord. Not today."

I did not have time for a headache. Today was a tightly calculated, which-parent-was-taking-which-child-where kind of day, and it all revolved around a day with no headache. However, I was going to count it all joy because a headache today meant it would cause me to lean more into Jesus - and boy was I going to need Him today.

In the still of this morning, as I walked into the dark room and sat down on the side of the bed of my firstborn, all I could see was a tiny baby in a 14-year-old's body. In my mind's eye, I watched him learn to crawl, walk, run, speak, kick a ball, pack a lunch, and study geometry. And it all happened just that fast. Today was the first day of high school. High school. I know he's ready, but as I look at him, I can't help but wonder, where have the last 14 years gone? How have we been so busy enjoying a great life that we went to bed, opened our eyes, and woke to the first day of high school?

Last night he was nervous, and the preliminary geometry work he had been asked to do rattled him. Everything for this coming year would be different… teachers, school, expectations, friends, books, uniforms, schedules. Everything.

He was in his room, slumped over his massive geometry book, blonde hair falling over his arm. Then, he sat up, looked at me with those steely blue eyes, and in defeat, said, "Mom, I don't know. I.just.don't.know."

All his doubt over a geometry problem and starting high school was the sum of how I felt about him growing up. I.just.don't.know that I can do it. I don't know that I can let him fail forward and make decisions and watch him begin, ever so slowly, to leave the nest. I don't know. I.just.don't.know.

His words also echoed the way I felt about parenting. Have we done enough to prepare him for this new life chapter? Have we poured into him enough to send him to a new school with new challenges and new experiences? I don't know. I just don't know.

I gave him a few encouraging words to let him know he'd survive this moment (preaching to myself that we'd survive this moment), and just then, his eyes focused on the triangle that previously had him stumped.


"Oh?" I said.

"Yeah, wait… I totally get it… this isn't as hard as I thought. x=30."

Smiling from ear to ear, I said, "Yes, love, x=30. You can do this. You know how to figure it out. God is with you, and you've got this. Not just problem #5, but all of it. You're going to be great."

His blue eyes sparkled. "Yeah, mom. I guess I will."

At that moment, the Lord gently reminded me to trust him, not because I knew the plan and the path ahead... but because I didn't.

In His great love, He would not only carry my son into this new season but also carry me and my tender heart as well. I didn't have to have everything figured out and know the answers to all the problems. All I had to do was keep my eyes focused on Him, and He would make my path straight as we navigated through this unknown season together.

So today, as I sat on the side of his bed in the dark when my head was pounding as fast as the heart in my throat, I told the Lord that symbolically "x was going to = 30" for me too all year long. I would trust him with the answers to the questions I didn't even know how to ask and whatever I faced, to trust he would be with me to solve it.

On the way to school, my son and I made a pact, as if entering a secret club with a secret password, that "x=30" would be our rallying cry as a reminder to each other of all that God was capable of... even though we had questions, even though we had doubts. It would be a reminder to both of us that God would hold us and help us to see the way through, no matter the problem.

To remind each other of God's faithfulness each day..."x=30"

We could do this. "x=30".

When things were great. "x=30".

When things were completely falling apart. "x still would = 30".

When we arrived at school, he got out, shut the car door, walked towards the building, and into his first day of high school. He stopped just shy of the entrance and turned around, and I could see the apprehension on his face through his forced bravery. We locked eyes. I pointed straight at him across the parking lot and half-shouted my charge.

"x=30. x=30."

He looked at me with those steely blue eyes, ran his hands through his hair, half smiled, and shouted back, "I love you, mom. It sure does. We got this."


"The Lord will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still" - Exodus 14:14

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