I spoke last Sunday in my church adult Sunday School class. At the end of my prepared remarks I read this chapter to the members of the class. I want to share it with you. If you would like to download more of my book before deciding if you want to buy it, I offer two free chapters at: http://booklocker.com/books/7995.html
Here is Chapter 37 in which my son, Donald, decides to leave home to follow his dream to be a professional soccer player.
“That’s it, Mother; I am not going back to that school. I’m sick of it. This was my last day,” insisted Donald one Friday night as he threw his backpack on top of the kitchen table. He was seventeen years old. He had just returned home from the Bradesco Foundation Technical School. I also had just arrived from my school and was sitting at the kitchen table having a piece of toast with orange juice before going to bed. I looked at him with surprise. He continued, “Don’t insist! You’re just going to waste your time. I called my father and he talked to a soccer coach. The coach agreed to take me on his team. So, if you can give me some money, I’m going downtown tomorrow morning to buy the bus ticket for Monday night.”
I looked up at that beautiful, tall, thin being in front of me; a little stooped from growing so fast. His black eyes shone with victorious excitement at having the courage to announce his big decision to his mother. The skin around his eyes was so smooth, like a baby’s skin, with the rest of his face marked with acne. I’d give anything to make that dear face totally smooth again. He called me mother, instead of mom, like he used to. Before, he had always called me “senhora,” a more deferential pronoun. Now he called me você, you. David was the one that always called me “mother” and ‘você.’ The change in Donald had happened so suddenly. He made a decision on his own and even changed his way of addressing me.
As tears welled in my eyes, I went to my room, got my wallet and started counting the money to see if I had enough. I didn’t want my son to quit school. He was in his second year of a technical high school course that would lead to a profession as an electronics technician. I also didn’t want to lose his company. Of course I knew that one day it would happen, but not just then. I wasn’t prepared for it. What could I do? I handed him the money and went back to my room to cry. I, once more, placed my son into the mighty hands of God. Well, I thought I did, but I didn’t. When you truly place someone in God’s hands, you trust. I cried almost the whole night.
Monday morning, while I folded and packed the clothes that I had so many times washed and ironed, I sprinkled them with my tears as well. My chest hurt as if I was never going to see him again. “Lord,” I prayed, “this boy is yours, not mine. You only gave me the task to raise him until he was grown. Now I am handing him back to your care.” Then I went on medicating my soul with verses of Philippians: 4. 6-8 and Thessalonians 5: 16, 17, which I knew by heart. “Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. Be joyful always, pray at all times, and be thankful in all circumstances.”
“Yes, God, please teach me how to live away from my son and help me to praise you for this situation.”
Little by little, the despair passed. I could think rationally. Well, he’s only going to live with his father. He isn’t dying. He is only growing wings and making his own decisions. I praise you, Lord. I accept it.
Weeks before, I had asked the help of a gentleman in our church, who was acquainted with the head coach of a famous soccer team in Campinas, to recommend Donald for the junior league. Later that morning, the telephone rang and Donald answered. Then he came to me, “Mother, it was Henrique from church. He said that he set up an interview for me with the soccer coach of Guarany at three o’clock tomorrow.”
“Well, do you want to go for this interview?”
“Yes. Do you think I can sell my ticket?”
“You can try. Go and stay in front of the bus counter in the bus station and wait for someone that comes to buy a ticket at the last moment. Sell your ticket to that person. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll lose the money, no problem.”
On Tuesday, Donald went to the office located at the soccer field for the interview. No one was there to conduct the interview. The coach was out due to a call to be in São Paulo that afternoon. The interview was never rescheduled, and Donald never mentioned that he wanted to go away and live with his father again. He went back to school, graduated and got a job as an electronics technician. God has mysterious ways.