Jackson and I are flying across the country to northern California where we will be attending the Mother/Son Week at JH Ranch.
From their website:
The content of our programming at JH Ranch is taught primarily through the challenges of practical experiences in the great outdoors. With each purpose-driven program, our goal is to teach and model the Great Commandment: love God and love others. Through this, our guests leave JH Ranch with practical Christian principles for everyday life, not simply inspiration.
This week long gift from my parents to Jackson and me was one that grew from the intense prayer and discernment of my mother. It's been almost four years from the fatal wreck that killed my grandmother. Jackson was only nine at the time and was trapped in the car with her leg on his shoulder. The other sights and sounds he experienced those moments scarred him in ways that were not so evident to us at the time. This happy, funny thirteen-year-old has not spent a night away from his family since then. He can't do it. This athletic, cool kid can't bring himself to try new things that might challenge him or take him out of his comfort zone. It's taken this many years for him to finally admit that he might possibly have a form of PTSD. My mother was convicted by the Holy Spirit that she was to give us this week to help with his healing - and that we were to receive it. (And how do you argue with the Holy Spirit? You don't! You are obedient!)
At first I was worried that when I showed Jackson the website, he would say no. Because there are many challenges throughout the week - and times of quiet reflection from the Biblical teaching sessions. But he didn't. He was kind of interested. Going in a trip, just the two of us to a place his brother hasn't been? That's pretty neat. In the mountains? That's cool too. And as we continued to talk over the next months, then weeks and now days, the excitement grew. Tonight, we watched a video from a week earlier this summer. It painted quite a thorough picture of all we will experience. And he could hardly contain his excitement. He is so ready!
Afterwards, we were talking about what he would want to keep in the backpack he is using as his carry-on. I mentioned his iPhone and charger, Eno, GoPro, gum - all the things I though he would be interested in. Without skipping a beat, he said, "Oh yes. And also my Bible." (How big was my internal smile?!)
I admit it. I've been so concerned about his head being open and ready for this adventure. But I now know that his heart is too. And that is where God will work in Jackson's life - and mine too. In our heads, but mainly in our hearts. We are being obedient. Our hearts are open. And we are excited with the anticipation of what great things He will do in our lives!