When we talked to Nathan on Sunday (our final call!), he reminded us that it had been almost 2 years exactly that he had received his mission call. Funny – in some ways it seems a lot longer than that and in other ways it seems like yesterday. These last few days I have found myself reflecting on that summer. What I remember most is that I developed a newfound respect and understanding of Hannah from the Old Testament. Hannah, who was barren, promised God that if she were given a son then she would “lend him to the Lord for this life.” (1 Samuel 1:11) Heavenly Father heard Hannah’s pleas and blessed her with a son. And so when Samuel was a young boy Hannah gave him to Eli, the priest. I felt, that summer, that in some small way I was like Hannah – only I had the benefit of the internet!
We had a great talk with Nathan on Sunday. It was interesting to notice the changes in my boy – he is so much more serious. For example, Nathan has always been an avid BYU football/basketball fan. When I jokingly asked if he wanted us to get him a sports pass for this next year, he replied “only if it doesn’t cost too much.” What??? I thought he would go without food in order to go to the games. He told us about the shooting that took place at his apartment complex – something a mom does not want to hear; the friends that he has made and wants to keep – now that is something a mom wants to hear; habits that he has developed that he wants to maintain – something a mom is happy to hear; and how he would love to move to Arizona – really? not really something this mom wants to hear right now.
I think that after two years I better understand what Hannah understood from the beginning: that even though she was lending Samuel to the Lord for a little bit, he would always be hers – and she would always be his mother.