“Avoid worrying about anything for your children except whatever may contribute to bringing them up virtuously. For the rest, having entrusted them to God, try to see what His will for them is, to help them along the path in life He has chosen for them. Seek always to increase your trust more and more.” ~ St. Claude de la Columbiere
Sometimes moments that are forever etched in our memories come at us in completely unexpected ways. This was certainly the case for me back in July of 2019. My oldest son, Nathanael and I were driving in Orlando – a town he loves, the home of UCF where he went to college, and so many special childhood trips to Disney. We were having a light-hearted conversation, when Nathanael became more pensive and quietly shared: “Mom, I feel I have a higher calling on my soul – and I have chosen to listen.” For the past few years, Nathanael had enjoyed a very successful career with Traveler’s Insurance Company, having risen the ranks as an emerging leader. From an outsider’s perspective, Nathanael seemed to have everything going for him.
I took in a deep breath, grasped the steering wheel a bit more tightly and asked: “What exactly are you feeling?” I knew that I had raised all of my children with a deep devotion to the Divine – instilling in them the belief that they were each very loved and were brought here in this place in time — an incarnated spirit in a body, to live out their unique soul’s calling. But in this moment of truth, I had no idea what to expect.
Nathanael shared that being on the cusp of 30 years old, he had realized that a corporate job was not what would bring him fulfillment – so he had turned in his notice. He shared that on August 22nd, he would be embarking on a journey to Asia for an indefinite period, starting in Kathmandu, Nepal to volunteer at an orphanage called Rising Lotus Children’s Village – to help teach English. He also shared that as part of the trip, he was enthused about making a mountain hike to Thorong La Pass in the foothills of the Himalayas. He didn’t know exactly what else his journey might entail, but he did muse on going to Vietnam, Thailand, Bali, New Zealand and Australia. My heart nearly stopped and I had to hold back tears.
All those things that can race through a mom’s mind went through mine in that moment. Worries for his safety, his possible suffering and my fear of the unknown that lay ahead of him – not to mention how I would miss him! I knew that how I responded would be hugely impactful. This is what I had raised my children to do – to listen deep within and to follow the nudges of Spirit. My son was doing exactly this — and I knew that I had to be his greatest cheerleader. So, I congratulated Nathanael for his courage and spent the weeks that followed helping him to prepare for his journey. From visas to vaccinations, there was much to do. The night before he left, we celebrated his 30th birthday. Seeing him off at the airport was one of the most emotionally difficult challenges I ever had as a parent – but I grew so much!
In the months that followed, I began to think about how my beautiful son, in following his deepest heart’s desires, was exploring work he loved. I witnessed him impacting others with his gifts and his powerful and positive energy. It made me see that I had always followed societal conventions and what my parent’s had expected of me. That even though I had preached a spiritual message from my highest self to my children, I hadn’t walked on the path myself.
“Once upon a time, God asked you to incarnate into this world for there were molecules of love only you could deliver to the planet.” ~ Laurel Bleadon-Maffei
Nathanael did live out many of his dreams in his time in Asia, along with some harrowing moments. His journey was cut short owing to COVID – but his adventure and zeal for life continues. He has recently completed his Master’s degree from Leiden University in the Hague, Netherlands. Nathanael lives big – he truly sees the world as his home. And I’m in absolute gratitude for his courage to follow his soul’s calling. He has helped pave the way for me to also shift out of the corporate world to follow my deepest calling as a Spiritual Life Coach. I’ve never loved my life so much! Sometimes, our children are our most profound teachers!
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