There was the day I first met my son after a tough delivery. He was huge, handsome and hungry!
The day he first skinned his perfect little knee, played his first t-ball game, joined the basketball team and went to the prom.
I had been with this boy his whole life – through all the ups and downs – and it took my heart a few days to remember all that and then, boy did the waterworks kick in!
Tears would hit me at weird moments like when I returned from the grocery store and he wasn’t there to enjoy and eat my purchases or when I realized that we didn’t take up as many seats at church…
Physically letting go of this boy has been a tough one for me, but I think that an even tougher thing is learning how to let go of him spiritually.
My husband and I have been committed to following Proverbs 22:6 (see below) in raising our son. We’ve prayed over him since before his birth, had him dedicated in the church as a baby, taught him God’s ways in our home, brought him to church, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and Christian camp.
Oh, that list could go on and on and you would think that with all that work, God would let us spiritually hold onto our kid’s hands forever right?
Just like I had to let go of my son physically this summer, I’m learning that it’s time for me to drop my son’s spiritual walk off into my heavenly Father’s arms as well.
Talk about tough.
I’m the mom who wishes she still had some kind of “holy child safety strap” tied securely around my son’s shoulders. A tug here and a tug there would help him stay on the right path, right?
Well you and I both know that’s not how it works. I spoke with my good friend Wendy a few days ago who’s a few years ahead of me with this college thing, and she gave me some good advice. She actually told me that this was a good season and that it was important for my son to use it to grow his own walk with God.
“It can’t be a family faith,” Wendy said. “It has to be a faith that he firmly embraces. God doesn’t have any grandchildren. He has only children.”
It’s interesting to find out that things you thought you had in your clutch really weren’t yours at all. And I’m finding that it’s a scary but a freeing feeling to loosen my grip and hand my son over to God.
But you know, this takes a measure of faith.
Here’s what S. Michael Houdmann says in the “gotquestions?org” blog: “Perhaps nothing on earth is more testing of our faith than the time when our children begin to sever the bonds that have held them close to us. Letting go of children doesn’t mean simply turning them loose in the world to fend for themselves. It means turning them over to our heavenly Father who loves them more than we ever could, and who guides and guards them according to His perfect will.
“The reality is that they are His children; they belong to Him, not to us. He has loaned them to us for a while and given us instruction on how to care for them. But eventually, we have to give them back to Him and trust that He will love them and nurture their spirits in the same way we have nurtured them physically. The more faith we have in Him, the less fearful we are and the more we are willing to turn our children over to Him.”
I guess I’ve got one more faith walk ahead of me now.
And I have a feeling that it’ll be one well worth the journey.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Isaiah 54:13Amplified Bible
13 And all your [spiritual] children shall be disciples [taught by the Lord and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children.
Psalm 127:3-5English Standard Version
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.