Both my children have taught me a lot over the years and it has been a pleasure to see them both grow up. I have no favourite I am especially fond of them both!! But because of Peter’s blog this is mainly about my journey alongside his.
Peter taught me a long time ago that my ambitions for him may not be his. This being Olympic year is a timely reminder of that. When he started rowing was around the same time as they were looking for youth his age as potential Olympians. We used to joke about it, and I think the joke wore a bit thin on him and he did point out that my ambition may not be his. He rowed because he enjoyed it, and not to train x times a week to go to the Olympics.
Why do I mention this, because it was just one step on him becoming his own person. As a parent you want your children to be healthy and happy. You also want them to achieve the things they want to achieve. As a Christian you also want them to have a faith and it to be an essential part of them. I know many of my family and friends whose children may not have done all that. I feel blessed that mine are very much on their way to this, but I don’t take the credit, much is down to others who have helped along the way.
I still remember one of the first times Peter spoke at an evening service. It was the day after one of the youth in his group had died in an accident. I still don’t know how he managed it, I don’t know that I could have. I also remember when he spoke at the evening service before he went off to University. I was very impressed, and thanked Andy (the youth worker at the time) for changing my boy into a man.
So when Peter talked to us at the start of the year that he was thinking of going into ministry I was not totally surprised. He was also showing maturity in that he planned to finish his degree (although not the Masters).
When after Easter he was thinking of giving it all up, you can imagine that initially as a parent I found that hard. But as I said to Peter at the time, I didn’t know if my uneasiness with it was a natural parent reaction or God. Was he meant to stay in a difficult challenge and lean on God, or step out in faith? I prayed (as did Karen) that if it was right I would have peace about it, and that if not he would have someone in Southampton to give him good guidance. God answered both prayers!! Within days I was at peace about it, and that has not left me, and Graham (his vicar) provided him very wise council.
When Peter got his results, some might want to say his work was too little too late, but I very much feel it was God’s hand. God could just have easily made him pass, or perhaps just fail and need to do some resits, but that was not really an option. The fail was such that it was clear (to me anyway) that this was God’s plan. I felt then and still do at peace with it, which given the other stresses in my life at the moment is very surprising.
God is even working on the plans for Peter for the coming year, in how to pay for his house etc. Not that I should be surprised by this.
To me Peter has been very mature about this along the way. Seeking God; seeking guidance from wise people; knuckling down to some hard work etc. To me he appears to be mature beyond his years. God is really leading his life, what more could a parent want. Well I had been hoping that he would become a rich engineer and keep me in my retirement!!
I have used the name Peter not PJ deliberately. God even had a hand on the naming of our children. Peter means “rock” and as it says in Matthew 16v18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it”.
As I said at the beginning, I don’t have favourites. I have also seen Sarah grow in maturity to a wonderful adult, but that is another story. Sarah means “princess”, anyone know how I can introduce her to Prince Harry? :P Although I have a feeling she may be more Elizabeth “God’s Promise”.