Chambersburg, PA

Many Mamas are Getting Ready-Launching your Child to College

mama

Many mamas are getting ready.

In a few short weeks, mothers that have held their sweet babies in their arms, will get ready to release their now grown children into the next great unknown phase of life….college.

It’s a unique time with a mixture of emotions. Feelings of pride in your child’s accomplishments combine with fear of how they will do in the future, away from you.

You wonder “Will they remember everything I taught them? Will they follow in the ways they were raised? Will they navigate through the tempting years of college life and emerge at the end with honor?”

These questions, these emotions, are enough to stretch any strong mama’s heart.

As I once again face this season in my life, now with our second daughter, I feel my heart go down this familiar path. I remember these fears, and I find myself searching for comfort.

I need a word.

I need a reminder, something that I can cling onto in the days to come when the waves of my emotions rise high, and the fears start to pull me under.

I seek wisdom from the one true source of it all, and I find what I am looking for.

In the fourteenth chapter of the book of John, Jesus is comforting his disciples, and preparing them for his departure. Jesus knew the day was coming that he was not going to be walking in the flesh with them anymore. He knew the disciples would be confused and scared at the thought of Jesus going away, so He gave them words of comfort and informed them about what was coming.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”. John 14:26

Even though Jesus was leaving, the Holy Spirit was coming. And not only was the Holy Spirit going to be with them, he was going to continue to teach them as well as remind them of everything that Jesus had already taught them.

These words, this truth brought me instant comfort.

As mamas we may not be going off to college with our children, but we are not sending them out alone. The Holy Spirit will go with them.

He will continue to teach them the ways to go. He will guide them in their choices and on their path. And he will remind them of everything we taught them over all the years we mothered our little, lovely children.

If you are a mama that is getting ready to release your child into this next phase of life, I pray these words remind you that you can trust God to hold your child in His hands even while they are so far from your own. Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you that there is no where we can go and be away from your spirit. I thank you that this is also true for our children. Today I ask that as mamas prepare and get ready to launch their children out into the great unknown that you would comfort them, and speak truth into their spirits. May your calming peace be upon all them in the days to come, and may you wrap them in the solid truth of who you are and your plans for them and their children. In Jesus name, Amen.

diane square Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: Facebook Pinterest – Twitter – Website

The Breaking Point – Learning How to Return from the Edge

Cliffs of Moher by Guiseppe Milo, edited

Cliffs of Moher by Guiseppe Milo, edited

Some days I feel like, “Am I ever going to get it right?”

It was one of “those” weeks. The kind that starts out with stomach bug infected children spewing vomit for days, and ends with a mother spewing mounds of negativity onto her children.

After a week of caring for sick kids, driving a long six hour trip to return our daughter back to college, and attending to the needs of six children while my husband worked out of town all week . . . . when thursday arrived I finally hit my breaking point.

This mama was spent!

I had diverged beyond the realm of tired, into the land of exhaustion where patience does not reside, and the queen of irritability reigns.

Not a drop of energy was left within me. Not an ounce of patience. At this point, it was obvious I was in no shape to be of any good for anyone, unless I rested and took a nap. Apparently, I was so sleep deprived I believed a nap would be helpful. Had I any lucidity I would have remember a nap NEVER turns out good for me.

Between the squeals of small children, my son preforming a signature solo song on his plastic recorder, and the phone repeatedly ringing, I was finally able to drift off to sleep. That is until one of my teenagers enters my room, comes up along side my bed, sees me sleeping snuggly under my covers, and decides that her question was important enough to awaken me.

My eyes flip open when I hear the life threatening question of the day, “Mom, do you know if the hot tub is clean?”

Ladies, have you ever heard the saying, “Do not wake a sleeping bear?” By the time I am so desperate that I attempt to take a nap, and a child is foolish enough to wake me for a non emergency, it’s more like waking a demon possessed grizzly! I am almost in need of an exorcism at this point.

This is exactly why I do not take naps. Once a demon possessed grizzly is awoken, they do not go back to sleep . . . they go on attack!

“Why is this house a mess?!?!”

“Why didn’t you do the dishes?!?!

“Why is all of your stuff all over my floor?!?!

“I am not your maid!!!!!”

“Get you and your homework in here and get it done now!!!!!!”

The breaking point has been broken, and the flow of the mean mommy rant is in full effect.

For the next hour and a half I watch my youngest daughter battle her nemesis (AKA, math) while I continue to battle the urge to yell, grumble and speak harshly. She had much more success in having victory over her enemy then I did my tongue.

I realized I was in desperate need of a new perspective, or else my only other option would have been to bite my tongue clean off.

I send myself to my room, not before I yell one more time at my child to hurry up with her math. I grab my bible, open it to my favorite scriptures I have written out  in the back, and immediately see in my own handwriting Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle tongue turns away wrath.”

Instantly the guilt starts to rise up and slap that mean mouth of mine. I stare at that verse I probably wrote years ago during a time I was probably battling the same thing . . . my tongue!

I couldn’t help but think, “Am I ever going to get it right?”

I felt the enormity of my guilt and disappointment in myself pressing down on me, when I hear the Lord begin to whisper.

I start to realize the guilt I am feeling was an indicator of a character flaw in the present moment, BUT I can allow it to be an opportunity for a personal adjustment that can last a lifetime.

I call my daughter to come into my room, and with her head hung low she slowly inches towards me and holds out her completed homework. In a soft, remorseful voice I say, “I don’t want your homework, I want you.” and I grab her and pull her into my bed and into my arms.

I proceed to tell her I am sorry, that it wasn’t her fault, and that I should never have talked to her so harshly. Her littles tears ran down her sweet face. I ask her for forgiveness and she shakes her head yes, still too raw with hurt emotions to even say the word out loud.

I felt a nudge to ask her to tell me how she felt when I yelled at her . . . taking a deep breath she replied with a quivering voice, “sad and ashamed.”

That’s when the real breaking happened. The breaking off of the hard, ugly pieces of me.  Never, never would I want my child to feel ashamed, especially because of my actions. I gently cradled her sweet face, looked into her teary, sky blue eyes and said, “You have nothing to be ashamed of, I am the one that should be ashamed.”

The Lord knows exactly what it takes for me to make a turn and grow in the right direction. He knew out of all the emotions my little girl could possibly be experiencing, ashamed was the one that would evoke the greatest shift within me. Shame is of the enemy, and I would never want my actions to cause my daughter to feel shame.

Through the process of breaking this destructive character flaw, I was reminded of some very powerful truths about parenting:

  1. Saying your sorry to your children is so powerful and healing.
  2. Giving them permission to say how your words and actions made them feel teaches them to always be open about their feelings, and also provides a powerful breaking affect on your own character flaw.
  3. And finally, agreeing to let them sleep in your bed covers over a multitude of mean mommy sins!

 

How about you? What does your breaking point look like? What does it take for you to make that turn from the edge of destruction?  Is there any area in your life you need to go to your children and ask for forgiveness? Know this, it is never too late to come back from the edge.

 

Here is a pic of my youngest and me on a day when “grizzly mommy” was no where to be found . . . I know, how could I ever be harsh to such a cutie!  Thank goodness she is as forgiving as she is beautiful.

mom and ella

diane square Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: Facebook Pinterest – Twitter – Website

In an Instant

in an instant

sky colour modification by Andy Fitzsimon

In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”  1 Cor 15:52

Ironically what started out as the parenting battle of armageddon portions, has come to a close with the good news of the rapture (metaphorically speaking of course).

It all came to an end in an instant, in what seemed like in the twinkling of an eye. We had been going through the battle. Week after week, day after day,  phone call after phone call.  I just kept praying and crying out to God to please assit my daughter and help her change and adjust to this new life at college.

I wasn’t sure how much longer my heart was going to be able to take the frequent phone calls of silent tears when the unimaginable happened. . . her phone broke!

Now this is when an already stressed and worried mother moves into the zone of frantic, panic stricken, sobbing woman. My mind begins to catastrophize every possible thought that enters in . . .

“If she can’t call me how is she going to manage, she will probably get worse, if she gets worse and doesn’t have me what will she do, will she do something crazy, and what if she does something crazy and then doesn’t have a phone to call anyone for help! Lord God why did you let her phone break?”

Thankfully the professional counselor within me finally speaks up and starts to call forth rational thinking, and reminds me that I do have her roommates phone number.  She had called me on it once her phone broke to inform me that she will be without her phone for five days, until the Apple Store would have a new one ready for her.

But everyday for five days my mind kept thinking how bad is she going to be without talking to me?? So I did the only thing I could do, and that was pray. Everyday I kept praying that God would comfort her and keep her safe.

Then on Friday, five days later my phone rings and it’s my daughter! I quickly pick up the phone, I’m so anxious to speak to her and really be able to gauge how she is doing by the sound of her voice, when I hear a peppy, laughing Nickie on the line. I hadn’t heard a peppy, laughing Nickie since summer time, and yet here she is on the phone laughing and sharing stories with me about her week.

After five minutes of listening to her be positive and upbeat I finally ask her if she still wants to come home . . .  And to my surprise she simply states , “No mom, I’m good.”

Completely confused by her answer, I probe further . . . “So you mean you no longer want to withdraw from your classes and move home?”

Nope, I’m over it”, she nonchalantly responds, and just like that, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye . . . she changed.

No longer was she this crying, home sick, Florida hating child, she had transformed into a happy, fun, loving life, college woman. Somehow, sometime during those five days . . . she changed.

It’s funny now when I look back, how I thought her not being able to talk to me was going to be the worse possible scenario for her. It turns out the Lord used this misfortunate event for good. Perhaps without having her mom to talk to and confide in everyday it forced her to connect and rely more on the new relationships she was building at school. Once again it seems God ways are always exceedingly, abundantly greater than my own.

Now I know that this battle has a happy ending that only took one semester to get to, and I realize that not all battles are won so quickly.  In my heart I know that there will be more battles to come, more days of feeling heart broken and scared.  But I am thankful that God gives us glimpses of victories so that we can be encouraged to continue fighting the big battles that go beyond the season of a semester.

If that speaks to you, and you currently are in a battle that is lasting many seasons, many semesters, let’s pray together and stand in agreement that your “in an instant” will come soon too.

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

I believe that your words are true. That your promises are ever lasting, and that you know the desires of my heart. Help me to hang on to your truths on the days I feel they are not real in my life. Help me to rise above what I see today and give me glimpses of victories that are coming in the future.  I love you Lord. I trust you Lord, and I give it all to you. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

diane square  Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: [btn text=”Facebook” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”https://www.facebook.com/sevenswansministries.org?pnref=lhc”] – [btn text=”Twitter” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”https://twitter.com/sevenswansmins”] – [btn text=”Pintrist” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”http://www.pinterest.com/sevenswansmins/”] – [btn text=”Website” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”http://sevenswansministries.org”]

Can I come home please?

undo

Undo Button, by David Singleton, edited

I hear her voice quivering as she says the words over the phone, “Can I come home please?” Five little words that say so much.  Together they are more than a question, they are a combination of heartbreaking statements. Statements like “I don’t want to be here, I am so sad, and I miss you.”

When I hear her say them I am instantly reminded of another phone call many years ago during a time when she was a little girl, and I as her mother was NOT winning awards for “World’s Greatest Mom”.  

She had called me from a sleepover at our friend’s house and asked, “Can I come home please?”   Prior to her going to this sleepover we had a talk were I informed her that if she went I was not going to come and get her in the middle of the night because it was a 45 minute drive.

She was spending the night at my friend’s house with her and her daughter, and she was notorious for going and then when it came time to sleep she would call and want me to come pick her up. (Sound familiar to any moms out there?) When that time came, and she did in fact call and ask me through her tears those five little words, I responded in a way that still hurts me to think about today.

Instead of being a loving, compassionate mommy and hearing what my sweet little girl was really saying, I turned into this stern, harsh mother that decided to use this moment as a learning lesson.  I told her in my mean mommy voice that I was not going to come and get her, that I already made that clear before she decided to go, and that she needed to stop crying and go to bed. Ugh, how I hate this memory, I sooo wish I could press the undo button and receive a do over.

I know now that it wasn’t the right response. I know that I should have went and picked up my homesick little girl. I may have then chosen to wait awhile before I let her try a sleep over again, but I still should have gone and picked her up when she called crying, asking if she could come home.

And here we are again, over ten years later, she is asking me the same question, the one I messed up on all those years ago. This time she is not 45 minutes away at our friend’s house.  She is 17 hours away at college.  But the same underlying heartbreaking statements are true. . .  I don’t want to be here, I am so sad, and I miss you.

I feel an intensity of emotions as memories of the past and regrets flood the surface.  I don’t want to make the same mistake again, and leave my daughter feeling alone and let down by her mother. My urge is to rescue her, to do the exact opposite of what I did when she was a little girl. I know from the past if I mess up I don’t get to undo it and this fear keeps screaming at me, pressing me to respond.

But I can’t help but notice this feeling way down deep inside, deeper then my fear and pain, deeper then my regrets from the past.  It’s a voice and it’s whispering to me, “Be still and know that I am God”.  I do my best to calm the waves of emotions that are crashing down on me, to push past the fear of messing up again, and to sit and seek wisdom from God.

He shows me the answer in a picture of a pendulum, and He narrates to me the story of how the pendulum’s tendency is to move from one extreme to the next, eventually finding it’s place of rest in the middle.  I am that pendulum.

My hurt and regret from the past tell me that the choice of leaving her there is not the right choice, and that I must swing to the other side and bring her home as soon as possible. But I feel the Lord tell me that those two are not the only options.  He reveals to me what it looks like in the middle and encourages me to take rest there.

I don’t know why it’s our human tendency when we experience pain and regret to want to move in the complete opposite direction.  The Lord has been teaching me that just because it is the opposite doesn’t mean that it is a good choice either. My prayer is that if you find yourself in a similar position, and you feel triggered to make a quick response in the opposite direction based on past hurts and regret, I challenge you to instead sit and seek God’s wisdom first. He is faithful to provide, and with His knowledge hopefully you will experience fewer things you wish you could undo.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5.

This post is the fourth post in a series of five posts on parenting.  Be sure to come back for the final post, and hear if these parenting tips paid off 🙂

 

diane square  Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: [btn text=”Facebook” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”https://www.facebook.com/sevenswansministries.org?pnref=lhc”] – [btn text=”Twitter” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”https://twitter.com/sevenswansmins”] – [btn text=”Pintrist” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”http://www.pinterest.com/sevenswansmins/”] – [btn text=”Website” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”http://sevenswansministries.org”]

Parenting by the Golden Rule

golden rule

Last Breath by Paco Espinoza, edited
Written on September 3, 2014

It is frequently said that “parenting is not for the faint hearted”.  With that being true, I would love to hear what the saying is for parenting children that go out of state to college . . . perhaps its “parenting that will cause you to be broken hearted”.

And let me tell ya, this strong mama’s heart has been able to withstand hospital stays, broken bones, grieving children, and let’s not forget teaching teenagers how to drive (Lord Jesus, I do still need a touch from you over that one), and yet this new season of parenting is proving to be my Armageddon.

It’s like I’ve come to the finish line and my first child is officially an adult, only to find out that now I am facing my greatest parenting battle yet!

So why is this season the biggest beast?  Well, let me ask you a question… What do you do when they are over a thousand miles away and having a bad day (or a series of bad days)? How do you parent from that distance? If she was home it would be so easy. I would love on her, hug her up, and then take her out for ice cream. That’s my mommy go to move. And it works…  just not when she is 17 hours away!

I begin to have flash backs to when she was a newborn.  A crying, unconsolable newborn that I held in my arms and  thought, “What do I do? How do I make it better???” At that time I was a brand new mom and hadn’t developed any of my mommy go to moves.  So I just did what she did . . . CRIED!!!! And here I am again, 18 years later doing the same thing. BAAWWLLING!!! Bawling because I don’t know what to do, bawling because I’m the mama and I should make it better, but bawling mostly because this time I can’t even hold her in my arms.

And to top it off, life does not stop for me to sit and weep, which is the only thing I feel adequate and capable of doing. Instead, life is refusing to comply and being completely unreasonable.  It says to me, “time to go to church, time to go to work, time to pick the kids up from school”, but no time for a weeping mother’s heart.   

So I find my big girl pants (hidden under a pile of self-pity), put them on and I force myself to do life. That night I go to church, and the next day I go to work, and after work I pick up the kids from school. I just try to do life and not show that my heart is completely elsewhere. Then in that moment, while driving my kids home from school, our new exchange student from South Korea starts to open up and tell me about her first day at her new American school.

She recounts how her speech teacher got emotional while she shared with her students about a time in her own life when she was homesick, far away from all of her friends and loved ones.  My exchange student expressed how deeply this touched her, because she too knows how it feels to be home sick.

The teacher continued to unveil that during the time when she was feeling alone, she came to understand that she was never really alone, that God was always there, comforting her. Those words rang in my ears, and tugged at my heart. They were the same words I had just told my daughter over the phone the night before. Suddenly, I was able to look past my own grief and see in my rear view mirror a home sick 17 year old girl, that is SEVEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY from her friends and family.

God spoke to me so clearly in that moment. He told me a familiar scripture, “Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them…” (Matthew 7:12) I so desperately want to be with my own homesick daughter and yet she is not the one before me.  Interestingly enough, the Lord has placed someone else before me, struggling with the very same thing as my very own daughter.

I quickly come to realize once again that God is so awesome, and His ways are so much greater than mine.  He placed me in a position to be able to do the exact same thing that I want done to my daughter, and He lovingly reminds me of how His ways work.

I may not be physically able to love on my daughter myself, but I can love on the one in front of me. So I decide to pour into this dear, sweet, homesick child from South Korea.  I decide I am going to love on her, hug her up, and take her out for ice cream, all at the same time resting in the assurance that God’s words and ways are true.  Trusting that He will directs others to do the same thing for my own daughter.

Is that you too? Are you in the Armageddon season of parenting? Maybe your child is away at college or on the missions field or even in the military quite literally in battle. Perhaps you are feeling much the same, helpless and heart broken with the great chasm of distance between you and your child.  Know that you are not alone and others are sympathizing with you and your pain.  Also know with confidence that the Lord has made a way through His Golden Rule, and choose to not only do life in their absence, but be to those around you what you want others to be to your child.

 

This post is the third of five posts in a series on parenting. Be sure to come back to hear the rest of this series in the weeks to come.

Blessings to you Ladies!

 

 

 

Making a Control – Shift

control-shift

Helen Steiner Rice, A Mother’s Love, edited
Written on August 28, 2014

She is breaking my heart!! Oh how I just want her to embrace this experience!  This awesome season in life of stepping out on her own, exploring life without her mother hovering over her head, and soak up all the knowledge she possibly can.  But instead she is miserable.  Absolutely miserable!

No one prepared me for this part or possibility.  She is my oldest and first to go off to college.  I knew that it would be difficult for me to let her go, especially all the way to Florida and leave her mama here in PA. I knew that part and was semi prepared.  But this, no one told me about this, and it never occurred to me that she just wouldn’t dive in and love it.

If it was me I would feel like I woke up in a dream.  A luxurious dream where college happened at  the beach, on a campus that resembled a resort, with dorms that overlooked the costal waters, and a baby grand piano in the common room. Where faculty and students assembled to represent Christ and grow his kingdom. Sounds like an amazing place and opportunity right?

Lord knows that wasn’t the dish my collegeic knowledge was served to me on! No mine was on a country campus in the middle of nowhere, cowtown PA, with dorm rooms made for hobbits and  the scenic view and entertainment were six dirty backdoor bars and the occasional Amish buggy race.  And don’t even get me started with the need for the Holy Spirit’s presence to be on that campus among student and staff alike.

How could one even have to think twice about which one was best?  Its completely maddening how anyone sober and free from the power of psychotropic drugs could say that they hate it there.  And yet that’s what continues to pop up on my screen, over and over again. “I hate it here. I hate the heat. I hate the people. I hate all the food except for one thing.” So much hatred coming out of one girl in a place that I would describe as the University of Milk and Honey.

In that moment I decide to seek the Lord’s wisdom, you know as us wise mothers would do.  We say to the Lord, “Dear God please help me because the words that I am thinking best not come out of my mouth or fingers onto the ears or eyes of my child for the intensity surely will burn her greater than any heat she is presently experiencing. I beseech you Lord give me words or give me silence!” You all know this prayer as I am sure if you are a mother you have prayed some form of it.

At the end of my prayer I looked down onto my key pad and I couldn’t help but see several words staring back at me.  I see a button that says control.  I see another button that says command, and I can’t help but feel convicted as the Lord reveals to me yet again that I am a control freak. That I love to command things to go as I deem best and not take into consideration that it is not my job to dictate these things. If in life I pressed a control button or command button every time I acted out those two c’s, you would no longer be able to read the c’s on the buttons because I would have long worn them off!

God knows I really don’t want to keep controlling and commanding my daughter and her choices, especially one as big as what college she attends. So I seek the Lord again, and this time new words pop off my keyboard at me. I see the word option, and I hear the Lord tell me to press that button and give my daughter options instead of commands. I see the word return, and the Lord reminds me that she is scared and unsure, and wants to return to a state of security.  I see the word escape, and He tells me how she must feel so overwhelmed that she just wants to escape back to the safety of her own room, in her family home.  And finally I see the word shift.  The Lord tells me that I need to make a shift in how I respond to my daughter.  I need to trust Him that as I shift with His assistance on my own journey in life, He will also help my precious daughter shift and grow on her journey . . . when the time is right.

Are you like me? Maybe you too are a control freak constantly trying to make a shift from being an overbearing mother to being a parent that is patient and trusts the Lord to guide your child? If that is you, lets both commit this following scripture to prayer and stand on its promises, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6 

 

This post is the second of five posts in a series on parenting.  Thankfully the story didn’t end here. Come back to hear more on this topic in the weeks to come.

Let Go

let god

Written on August 21, 2014

I can’t help but cry as I walk away from my daughter in her dorm room, and drag my weeping heart towards the beach. It all finally catches up to me and sinks in deep.  The reality that I’m leaving her.  That she grew up.  That my baby is no longer a baby under my roof, but a grown woman starting her new adventure in life . . .  far away from me.

As I drift down the sandy road I can’t help but feel like I want a do over. I want to go back to when she was a baby, a little girl. The toddler years! Yes, those years  I want a do over the most. I want a chance to return and rewrite that time so I would have been more present, more patient, and more aware to treasure those moments and softly love and cuddle my little girl. But I can’t. I don’t get a “do over”, instead I get a “let go”.

I feel so torn as my heart desires two completely different outcomes simultaneously.  I want her to fly into this new adventure and seize every moment, and yet I long for her to be my little girl again and need her mommy.  I want her to miss me and cling to my side, but I also wish for her to be so happy, excited, and involved that she is too busy having the best time in her life to miss her dear, old mom.

I arrive at the beach and look up to see the sky through my tear soaked eyes when I realize it is dusk. The sun is setting behind the horizon, bringing an end to not only this day, but this chapter in my life as her mommy.  The majority of me does not want to turn the next page, but rather reread the previous ones over and over again.  But that is not an option. Tomorrow I will get on a plane that will force me to fly forward into this next chapter whether I want to or not.

The tears spill down onto my cheeks as I stare out into the ocean.  Memories of her childhood color my mind and I try to figure out how I let my sweet little girl go.  I start to think back to the time when she was a baby.  How I was so protective of her.  How selective I had been about who could hold her, not wanting to let her in someone else’s hands.  I knew the few people whom I trusted to hold her would take her from me very delicately, and cautiously cradle her little head in the palms of their hands.  I could see how their arms protected and supported her as I transitioned her into their care.

Those memories may be 18 years old, but today I still feel like she is that little, helpless, newborn baby. The difference now is that this time I am not placing her into visible hands, but instead I am transitioning her into the hands of an invisible God.  I don’t need to see His hands to know that they are real.  However, I still can’t help but ask the question, “Do you have her Lord?  Do you really have her?”

I am placing her into His hands but I can’t see if He really has a hold of her.  I don’t want to let go until I know He has her, but deep inside I sense that I will never know He has her . . . until I let go.

So I make a choice.  I choose to trust Him, and I give her back to Him.  I placed her in His hands on the beach and while holding my breath . . . I let go. In my spirit I know that the days to come will test this act of faith, and I will have to actively choose on a daily basis to believe He has her in His hands.

 

Is that you too? Are you having  difficulty letting your precious one in His hands?  If so join me, and let’s make this our daily prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I trust you. I know your hands are strong and mighty, loving and kind.  I place my child into your hands and I stand on your word.  Please help me choose to believe you on the good days and bad. Let me rest in knowing that your love is greater than my own, and your plans surpass mine.Thank you for the great gift you have granted me in raising my child, and guide this precious one along your path. In Jesus name, Amen.

“ . . . and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”  John 10:28