The circle of our lives just keeps on turning…
Our children are our greatest gifts! But as much as we love them, we don’t own them. They are essentially only on loan to us from God. Our job is to prepare them for life. We only have a few years to nurture, train, and raise them up. Then we must release our control and let them go. It’s a bittersweet time of transition.
Although some parents welcome or celebrate this new season, most of us struggle, at least initially. We experience it as a loss to be mourned, for our very identity is tied to taking care of them. A sadness sweeps over us as they leave our nest and it feels like they’re taking a chunk of our heart. We take comfort that lingering behind them are a collection of sweet memories…
~The indescribable love and joy you felt at his birth…The pitter-patter of his tiny feet…Cherished hugs and kisses…Hearing his innocent prayers, before being tucked into bed…The pictures he drew, and the flowers he picked especially for you…Teaching him to read, to ride a bike, fly a kite; catch a fish and to swim…The long, sleepless nights, when he was so sick that you begged God to please let him live…Those adventurous teenage years; the sports, the dances and all the nights he kept you up late…~
Growing up with their every need met they no longer want to depend on us. What they crave most is the liberty to venture out and explore on their own; to break free from our hold, replacing parental control with self-control. Still, we wonder if they can handle the challenges or cope with the difficulties they might face. It’s tough to stand back and let them choose their own path.
As difficult as launching them out into the unknown may be, imagine the feelings they’re wrestling with as they work out questions of who they are and what they will make of their life? They long to be respected as a grown up, with opinions of their own; capable of running their own life. Yet, we are tempted to tighten the rope that has bound them to us, just a little bit longer.
We ask ourselves if we have done enough or if we’ve taught them all they need to know? Have we instilled enough confidence in them to deal with the world out there? Been an example we want them to follow? Had plenty of heart to heart talks? Taught them to look to God when things get tough? Helped them developed their talents, and become self-reliant and resilient enough to bounce back after a setback? Will they look back with fondness to their childhood years or miss you and remember to call?
We hope that they’ll do well, make good choices; withstand temptation and stay strong. So, we pray the Lord will bless and keep them in His loving care as we reluctantly, let them go.