More Than Just Freshman Year

Let me just tell you, the last week of school was a hectic week.  It’s the week many parents and students start the countdown probably during spring break.  I think I see more teachers counting those days down more than I do parents.  That’s a little suspicious.

I did not make it a secret to my close friends that Collin was struggling his freshman year.  High school is NO JOKE!  I cannot tell you how many seniors will tell freshmen, “I wish I would have taken my freshman year more seriously.”  Well, that freshman year has now come and gone with much agony.

If you could pre-inject into their DNA as they are being formed in the womb something to help them form study habits as they grow into their teenage years, our hair would not be the color it is now.  Well, most of us would not spend what we spend to have it colored.  I think study habits just come natural to some and it is something you cannot teach.  It is a discipline and self-taught process, and much harder for boys!

This freshman year showed Jay and me that study habits are just not on the top of Collin’s priority list.  I have to say, it was not on the top of mine at his age either, but who wants to tell their child that fact.  Collin struggled in two subjects, science and history.  But what I am amazed is that he blew algebra out of the water with an A or B on a given quarter.

The last two weeks of school I cried, sent multiple school emails, did a lot of praying, screaming, and took multiple migraine medications (and threaten in my mind to move to my sister’s till after school was out).  For some reason, that didn’t seem to change the outcome of his exam grades, but he DID pass science…by one point! PRAISE JESUS! (Insert sigh of relief.)

There are some people that take a break from Facebook and that week, I really should have.  All I saw on Facebook were students with this honor and that honor, CHS graduation, CMS graduation, all bringing back many memories (of Trey) and also hitting me in the jealous gut (for Collin).  Why can’t Collin be an honor kid?  If I saw one more certificate, I was going to scream.  Some kids are just NORMAL!  You know – C is AVERAGE.  Go with me on this.

On the last day of school, I was on my way home from work and Collin had sent me a text earlier in the day.  He had said that he was going with Jake Craft and some of the Young Life kids to help with an area in Germantown clear some leaves and help work off his Young Life camp balance.  My mind started to reel.   If something happened to Collin and he had to suddenly face our Lord and Savior, would God ask him what he made on his science test or what his GPA was at the time?  What about honors he achieved? I don’t think so.

Then my tears began to fall as I was driving and I was convicted of my attitude of pressure.  My son, who struggled in science, was out serving his community on his last day of school and was working off all of his $700 camp balance except for $68.  During the year, Jake would pick him up at 6 a.m. to go to Chick-fil-A for bible study before school.  On Monday nights, he was at Young Life meetings where they talked about Christ, played games, and sang songs.  I know what Young Life means to so many CHS students.  One of Trey’s sweet friends, Brittany Lockwood, is serving right now as a camp counselor.  It doesn’t come easy, but it is something God has put on her heart – to serve the Lord with gladness and share the gospel with young campers.  What it means to Collin – it’s a place where he is plugged in and belongs.  It’s his place (and was never Trey’s).  I had been praying for MONTHS and asking people to invest in Collin.  I cried when Collin posted a picture at the end of the year of the CHS football team and the thanked them for being his family and said how he was going to miss them.  We did not know how Collin was going to walk into CHS – introvert or extrovert.  He walked in with a bunch of senior friends who took him in, loved him, and called him his little brother.  They were once Trey’s brothers.

Next Sunday, he leaves for Young Life camp for a week.  He will come home for one day and then will turn around and leave for Oasis which is high school camp in Florida with Central Church (This is where he spends his Wednesday nights with his high school friends).  I cannot tell you how MUCH he has matured in six months.  I shared all of this with him this weekend and told him how proud I was of him (as I cried and he looked at me as if I was an alien).  I needed him to know that things will change in the fall as we attempt to attack school in a different manner.  But his character and servanthood is something that is engrained in him and it cannot be taught by a teacher.  That is in his heart.  It has always been in his heart…to help others.  Even when he was a little boy in elementary school and we told Ms. Rachel, his teacher, to help with his energy, let him hold the door open for the kids because he likes to help.  That is why he is helping manage the varsity football team at CHS and is the manager of the varsity CHS basketball team.

I’m proud of Collin Erwin and what he has accomplished in a year and what goals he has set for himself.  I’m proud that he sends a text to his friend and asks them to church on Sunday.  It’s just hard on mom and dad when kids act like they don’t care about things.  We know they do.  But one thing I will have to continue doing, as I did all year long, give him back to God.  I have to remember, he is not mine and belongs to the Lord anyway.  Pray for your children.  I pray for your children and you pray for mine.  They are our future…our leaders…our church.  Pray for their decisions to be wise.  Pray so that we may trust them, for them to have strong character and pure of heart.  Pray for them to have open ears to the words from the Lord and a conscience to know and a convicting spirit.  Lord hear our cries for our children.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11