When one becomes a parent, the goal is to raise your children so that one day they can go out into the world and be successful by God’s standard and according to the calling He has on their lives. Courtney as the oldest Ayers child is in the launching process and seems to be doing well.
Generally there are 2-4 stages of a rocket launch. There are also stages of launching children from the home into live. Courtney at almost 18 has already completed a couple of stages of her launch. She finished High school last summer and has just graduated from a one year program called INSIGHT. In each stage, she has gained confidence and skills that will enable her to be successful as she enters the next stage.
Completing each stage does not come with out some trials. As a parent my heart’s desire and prayer for each child would be that they have a firm foundation so that when they do reach the final stage of the launch, they will succeed. This is not always an easy – for either the parent of the child or the child. There are growing pains in which the child needs to take on more and more independence yet still not severe the lines of authority. The parent needs to let them make decisions and flounder at times so that they can learn in a safe environment what their boundaries need to be. There is tension at times- but it is a good tension.
Courtney felt that tension more so towards the end of her year at INSIGHT and from what we heard from the students and teachers – this group was very unique. This group was able to bond very closely and walk through the ups and downs of school and life together. They didn’t exclude anyone and became a community that was supportive and they learned to love each other in a deep way. It was a unique experience for all – not just the students, but those involved in their lives – teachers, support staff and mentors. They really did experience what the church should be like. This was such a gift from the Lord.
There were also concerns when Courtney first showed up at INSIGHT last fall. She was the youngest student at 17 and had been home schooled all through high school. The concern could be expressed best by this question – “Were her life experiences good enough to provide her the foundation that she needs to complete a program like INSIGHT at such a young age?” We, as her parents felt that they were, but only time would tell. We prayed that God would help her make it through to the best of her ability. It was fun to hear from her cohort leader that he was impressed with the way she just dove in from the beginning and tackled INSIGHT with gusto. That is Courtney and her tenacious spirit. We saw her wrestle through tough theological issues, become convinced of the truth of the gospel and solidly grounded in a Biblical World view.
She is ready for the next stage – transferring to Union University where she will major in French with a possible double minor in Psychology and Education. It is not easy on a mother to let her first child go so far and yet I know that it is what is best for her at this time in her life. I cherish each moment that I have with her, knowing that in the fall she will be gone for months before I get to see her again.
God has been gracious in giving her to us and in calling her to Himself. Our work of continuing to prepare her for her final launch – the day that he father walks her down the aisle and gives her over to the man that God is already at work preparing to be her husband – continues. The end is coming, but not yet in sight. Our prayer is that God will be faithful to give us as her parents wisdom to parent her well and that He will continue to faithfully provide all her needs as we all wait for her final launching.
God bless you Courtney as you prepare for the next phase of your launch!