When You Look Into Their Hearts

SethCome Friday, our nest will be a little emptier. Son Number Three will throw a few boxes and bags into his Jeep and head south, an eight-hour drive to Nashville — the “country music” Nashville. Son Number Two waits for him there, along with freedom, challenges, new friends, a new job and untold new experiences.

He’s spent twenty years under our roof — give-or-take a few months away learning a trade he loves. Yes, he’s ready.

The truth is, the past several weeks have a been a little rocky at times. Coming back home after a season of living on his own, he’s chafed a bit under Dad’s watchful instructions to this Son/Employee, under Mom’s questioning “Where? When?” He has worked to fulfill his obligation to our family business, but always with his eye on the calendar. It’s understandable, this pushing off, this claiming of independence. We all know it’s time.

So, he’ll stack the guitars he crafted by hand alongside a few boxes of clothes, his treasured record collection and his turntable and speakers, and he’ll be off. It won’t be easy to watch that black Jeep roll down the road, but already I feel it — this acceptance, peace, a knowing that it’s alright. Because I know this man/child. I know his heart, his firm footing, his strong faith. It’s not something we’ve given him, but something he’s claimed for himself, something that’s already been tested out there in the world of doubters. He loves Jesus, clings to the truths and promises in Scripture. He’ll be okay — more than okay.

It was fitting that our Son’s last Sunday playing guitar in worship at our church should be a Celebration. We felt blessed to see him smile, eyes closed as he helped lead his church family in praising our Risen Savior. They love him, these people, despite his scraggy beard and dreadlocks. Or maybe because of them — they, too, know his heart.

“And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise”

Before worship on Sunday, I shared pancakes and conversation with another young man at our church. I’d seen his lanky frame and baseball cap a few rows down from our pew, caught sight of his lip ring and couldn’t miss the arms inked from his wrists right up under the sleeves of his T-shirt. This fellow has been coming to church recently with a young woman he intends to marry. Between them, they have a few children and they share a household.

While pouring syrup, we talked about kids, Easter baskets, music. He mentioned a prank one of his little boys had played, and we laughed together as I shared a story about my own sons’ mischief.  Between bites, he talked about his hometown in another state, about the day he was to appear in court but couldn’t because he had worn jeans with holes in them.  As we left breakfast to enter in to worship, it was good to feel that we are no longer strangers, sitting a few pews down.

I’ve thought a lot about that young man this week. He’s the same age as one of my own sons — that one of ours who also wore a lip ring and sports a couple of tatoos, who waits for his “little” brother to drive south to Nashville. The one who found his own way back to Jesus, in his own time.

Thinking about these young men, I’ve realized that somewhere, this new friend of mine has a Mom who held dreams for her Son — holds them still. A Mom who watched him walk out her door to make choices she couldn’t control. So I’ve prayed for her this week. Prayed she knows there’s another Mom who can see past the markings and piercings on her Son, can see into a heart that’s trying to do the right thing. I pray that she’s proud and that she is at peace.

And, I pray that she knows. Her son will be okay — more than okay.


  1. Kathy Hull Becze

    Thanks for sharing truth and hope with us moms of wandering sons. I pray for yours, mine and the other moms’ that they will all find the path that Jesus left for them to follow.

  2. Ingrid Lochamire

    Thank you, Kathy. “Mothering” never ends, does it? To trust the One who loves them even more than we do — that’s our calling.

  3. Lea-Ann

    Awe, Ingrid. I should have known not to read this in a public place {tears}, but knowing this time is coming for Tara to strike out on her own, praying for Trent who is still trying to find his place and bring a young family along with him, and for Haley who will, with a lot of prayer, be graduating from high school this year. I find myself praying for you, your husband, and sons and thankful that we have been a part of their journey the past twelve years. Hugs and hope to actually see you soon!

  4. Ingrid Lochamire

    So many of us doing this right now! Lifting you and your family up, too, as changes come. Wasn’t toddlerhood SO MUCH easier?

  5. Brenda L. Yoder

    So beautiful dear friend. My heart both heavy and light with yours. Thank you for your heart.

  6. Ingrid Lochamire

    Oh, Brenda, I know you know this feeling. Blessings on your week away!

  7. Aunt Lila

    Ingrid, Ingrid, Ingrid….The tears flow to no end as I read this story..Michael says he is leaving for Calif.this summer…Needs to know what it’s like..needs to see what it’s like..needs to pursue his dream..It will be tough especially with Carla only living at moms, and Matt no further than Lake of the Woods..I too will NOT hold back tears…I too will pray…Matthew will be moving into his house probably in May or June..not far away..but and empty nest will be ours..Oh yea 2 will be close..sometimes to close, and the girls will be in and out but I am trying hard to get them to not be so dependent on Grandma..it is difficult..I can’t imagine the pride you and Ken must feel, I feel it too as other things are going on in our families lives that we watch and pray for daily..You know how I feel about your stories..It’s true I am one of your biggest followers..God bless you..May need your shoulders later on…Love you both..

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      Aunt Lila, I look forward to your heartfelt comments! Michael will love CA, I’m sure, but he’ll always love HOME more!

  8. jbwye

    Yes – I know the feeling oh so well – having said similar goodbyes on six occasions over the years. And every time they come back to visit, that familiar tear happens as you say goodbye.
    Then, if you’re lucky, the grandchildren come along, and you can share the joys without the same intensity of worry: so life goes on.

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      It’s a mixed blessing, isn’t it? Seeing them go off to conquer the world — the very thing we’ve raised them to do! Waiting patiently for that first grandchild (none on the horizon yet).

      • jbwye

        That’s a blessed treat which awaits you! I’ll never forget greeting my first grandchild when he was a few weeks old. That was 22 years ago, now.

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