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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Taking Flight


We left Felipe at the airport just a couple of hours ago, and boy did it feel weird. It’s his graduation gift, a trip back to Colombia. A rite of passage and celebratory blessing, both. And we’ll be counting the hours until that last plane touches down and we get his message of safe arrival. All day praying.

I prayed for him first thing this morning, still pajama-clad and drinking coffee on the porch. Sun brilliant, flowers in bloom. Early June in Minnesota is a glorious time; even Felipe admitted he’ll regret missing out. And so the boy consumed my waking thoughts, part nerves, part pride. And all trust. Trust in airline travel, and plans well-rehearsed, and the overall goodwill of fellow man. Which is to say, only really trusting the ONE who’s got all those others in hand.

I’m reviewing Ephesians, the first three chapters mostly memorized after all these months. And it’s right there in the last chunk of verses, His Spirit infuses my praying. THIS is it. All I ask for the boy.

It’s the passage from the necklaces, worn by Anderson brothers. The same scripture Kyle referenced in his graduation letter. That same letter I used as the text for a digital scrapbook – two copies ordered. One for Felipe, and one for Doris, his foster mom, who he’ll surprise tomorrow in Yopal.

So here I am memorizing the very same prayer we’ve used for his blessing time and again. But seeing it this morning is like it’s the first time, and just what we needed. What Felipe needed, and I needed, too.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

And I’m thinking and praying about all this FAMILY, and how God chose us to be together. Two and a half years exactly we’ve been family, and now these boys are part of our hearts.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

When you memorize a passage you become aware of every little phrase, each one perfect. And so I pray.

Out of HIS RICHES. How glorious is that? And I’m praying for a boy who’s turned a good fortune since stepping on this soil. An American dream, like it or not. Not to mention, the riches of grad gifts recently deposited, thanks to an overwhelming host of generous friends. The boy is rich by worldly standards. And truth be told it’s one of my fears. Him going back there and taking the glory when it’s been HIS glory all along. And so I pray for strength and power from the Spirit. Power to fill his innermost being. Christ alone, and only through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…

And this part of the prayer makes me laugh out loud. Rooted in love. Power to grasp love’s heights and depths. And to KNOW this love that surpasses knowledge. See what I mean? It’s a ridiculous love, this love of Christ.

My last text to Felipe as he boarded the plane. Three big red emoji hearts. Oh God, let him…

…know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

We received this text just minutes ago. Hey I’m already here. (Dallas, Texas – first leg of the journey.) How do I get my next ticket? And Dad’s watching his progress, tracking flights and gates and texting instructions. Better than Siri. And I’m thinking about Dads and FATHERS watching their children – giving good counsel. An answer to prayer.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Immeasurably more than all this mom knows to ask. God, I trust you. Go now with my son.

Scripture from Ephesians 3:14-21

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