Sometimes I think I could write a book with all the lessons God has taught me through parenting. Other days I imagine the book to be only 2 short words God has whispered to my heart over and over, words that pack a potent punch-
Nine years ago, we moved our eldest, Rachel, into her college dorm. Six years ago, our second, Jerad made his big move. Tomorrow our youngest, Aaron will begin his college journey.
When my alarm goes off at 4:45, my usual routine is to hit snooze once. Not so today as my first thoughts kept my eyes from closing in sleep again. Today is Aaron’s last day at home. O, how this mother’s heart is overflowing with a variety of emotions- love, pride, sadness, excitement, dread, joy…
Earlier as I pondered Aaron’s next step God reminded me of his first steps some 17 years ago. Watching all 3 begin walking was exciting and worrisome. At times, they bore the signs of falls with bruises and cuts. Yet each one persisted as we cheered them on in their endeavors to walk. Such will be the case as they walk away from our front door.
Too often I’ve been a slow learner. In just the last few months God has finally gotten a lesson through to me. My children are going to fall when they learn to walk in this world. They are going to bear the bruises from poor decisions. Yet from their mistakes, they will learn, grow, and become wiser. My job at this point is to let go and let him toddle away as he learns to walk alone. From a distance, I will still cheer him on, cry when he falls, and hold his hand at his request.
In one sense, my job is done but in another it has just ramped up to new level. Today I step more fully into my role as an intercessory prayer warrior doing battle on my knees for my adult children, their spouses, and children (as they come along).
Sunday I jotted down these words as a prayer for my baby boy that covers the heart of all 3.
Lord, this week as he leaves our home for college. We will put our basket into the water as Jochebed did her basket all those years ago trusting you with her son’s life. Just as you drew Moses out of those waters, draw our baby out and lead him to the calling you have on his life.
- Send him a Philip at just the right moment when he needs understanding and guidance.
- Send him an encourager like Barnabas.
- Create in him a heart like David passionately seeking you.
- Redeem his mistakes and use them for his good and your glory as you did with Saul’s past in Paul’s ministry.
- Build in him a bold heart sharing your truths like the Spirit-filled Peter.
- Give him the courage of Joshua.
- Strengthen his character like that of Daniel who carried out every task with integrity.
- Write his love story as beautiful as you did the one of Ruth and Boaz.
- Overflow his heart with love for you and others as you did the heart of your disciple John.
- Build in him a faith like Abraham and Noah who took you at Your Word and believed.
Above all, may he look more like Jesus every day.