I thought I would die just thinking about it. How would I bear watching the truck pull out? How could I endure having these babies out of my watchful care? The anticipation sent me to my prayer closet more frequently than ever. It’s where I find myself when I need strength to go on.
No one ever taught me how to let go of my children. How well I remember the first time I pried their fingers loose from mine so they could walk on their own. Because I hovered over them like a mama bird, my presence was still there to make sure they didn’t fall. I never realized this was just the beginning of a lifetime of releasing my children into situations where my presence could not go. When our sons started kindergarten, I wished I were invisible so I could sit beside them in the classroom. When they got old enough to walk five blocks to school, I wanted to follow behind making sure they arrived safely at their destination. After all, there was no one who cared about them more than I did. But Mom couldn’t always be there. I had to let go of them.
When they turned 16, I had to watch each of them back out of the driveway without me. I remember standing at the door pleading for angels to sit on their bumpers. Letting-go times kept me on my knees, for there was no way I could logically follow behind them. But there was Someone who could. This was the time for trust…not only exhibited in them but in my God. Did I really believe He loved them more than I and that His protection was far greater and wider than any I could provide!
Spread Your protection over them…surround them with your favor as a shield. Psalm 5:11-12
When we drove away from their college campuses, I had to trust they would make wise decisions. It took me to my knees over and over again. The only recourse I had was to pray because they were on their own. Even though they always came home when they were hungry or needed clean clothes, it was going to be different this time. Did I really believe they would listen to the wise counsel of their father, and their driving instructor, and their Sunday School teachers, and their youth pastors? And me?
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
Last month we said good-bye to our younger son, his wife and puppy dog, who had lived a stone’s throw away for the first three years of their married life. A huge opportunity in music called them a two-days drive away from Indiana. This was an answer to this mother’s prayers, but I never dreamed it would take them to Houston. We are excited to see God’s plans develop for them but sad they’e not close by any more. It’s really bittersweet.
One thing I have learned as a mother is that God’s grace is truly sufficient for every need.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I Corinthians 12:9
When I am weak, and admit it, He provides grace to see me through. I have been amazed at the supply of strength the Lord has given me since they left. So have my family and friends. It doesn’t mean I haven’t cried. But when the Lord says we can do ALL things through Him who gives us strength, He includes those “letting-go” times of life.
So, Mom, if you’re having as much trouble as I’ve had in releasing your children into God’s care, remember to pray. It’s our only recourse. You can’t go with them, but there is One who promises He will.
I will never leave you or forsake you. Joshua 1:5
His Name is Jesus, and His presence will go where your presence can’t sneak in and follow.