Whether you are sending your child off to kindergarten or to college, the adjustment is a hard one. It is a reminder that they are growing up and that they are in the process of moving on. When we are in the midst of raising children, it can seem like a never-ending task!
The reality is that we have these precious gifts for a very short time. We need to make the most of each minute. We can’t stop our children from growing up, but we sure can make an impact while they are with us.
Although I do feel the same sadness that all moms feel as they watch their little ones grow up into not-so-little ones, God is showing me that one of the greatest impacts I can have on my children is when I choose to celebrate the steps they do take, rather than grieving over them. I can remind them of how capable they are, that I support them, and that God has provided opportunities for them to be used by Him. When I get excited about what they are excited about, and do all that I can to help prepare them practically, mentally, and spiritually, it helps to equip them to step out and do what they are called to do! It helps them to move out in confidence if we do this, and it helps us to move on as well.
I sent my daughter off on her first mission trip this summer. We packed her up and drove her to meet the team. I was doing fine until we drove away from the airport without her, and all of a sudden a knot formed in my stomach. I thought I would get through this without that all-too-familiar knot. But not this time! I texted my friend Tracey Eyster and told her about the knot. She texted me back and told me it was a “prayer knot.”
I loved that! It helped me to remember that my most important calling as a mom is to be praying for my children. With each step they take toward independence, I am seeing that I am not in control. But the gift of a prayer knot is there to remind me that I can pray my children through each step, and their heavenly Father will be there holding their hand when I can’t be there.
We cannot control the fact that our children are growing up, but we can control our response to it. We can cheer them on as they grow. We can spend time in private worship thanking God for the opportunities He provides for them. And when the knot forms in our stomach as they drive away, we can lift our precious gifts up to God, and pray for His will to be done in their lives.