Six weeks after my boys both left home for college, I will admit, I still feel a little lost. My world changed pretty dramatically in a short period of time and my adjustment is still not complete.
I have struggled with this new chapter in my life, as I guess most do when their little chicks try out their wings. Many people have encouraged me and presented me with opportunities that I have yet to make a decision about.
But probably the most meaningful encouragement came from someone who had a profound influence on my becoming an adult.
Thirty-odd years ago, I was promoted from the 12th-grade Sunday School class at Central Baptist Church to the College/Career Class. It wasn’t a big deal at the time -- I had only been in the 12th-grade class a few weeks since we moved here after I graduated from high school and I had left for college before the actual promotion Sunday.
But it was after college, when I returned to my parent’s home, unsure about the course of my life and what direction I was headed in, that I started regularly attending the College/Career Sunday School class.
The Sunday School lesson was taught each week by Gail Spivey and Fred Hardin. For the first time in my life, I was not only taught, but asked to participate as well.
Our two teachers didn’t just present material but questioned us on it. They asked for our interpretation and listened to us as we sometimes offered a different view from their own. We couldn’t just show up either, we were expected to prepare for the lesson by reading it beforehand. And it wasn’t only in the classroom that we were challenged. We were older now and no longer could be passive members like we had been as children. Fred and Mrs. Spivey encouraged us to take an active role in the church -- attend business meetings, attend visitation, perform ministry projects, volunteer in the nursery.
No longer children, not quite adults, it was Fred and Mrs. Spivey who helped us bridge that gap by encouraging us to take our first steps.
So when an email arrived from Fred to offer encouragement after my children left for college, it seemed like my life had come full circle -- and rightly so.
The email remains in my inbox and I reread it every few days. His words have helped to sustain me during this new season as I again -- like I was doing when I first met him 30 years ago -- contemplate my place in the world. Fred Hardin helped to launch me into adulthood by giving me a forum to think for myself and to do for others. The email he sent with encouragement and stories about his own sons going off into the world has helped to launch me into this the next phase of my adult life.
Contact Alline Kent at 478-396-2467.