It’s a prayer that slips through parents lips the moment they sit and rock their new baby: a prayer for the future, a petition for God’s blessing, and a plea for the one to whom they will hand over the key to that child’s heart. Tim and I prayed that prayer regularly for our children’s future spouses as they grew up.

This past summer, God answered that prayer for our son Cody as he married our new daughter-in-law, Lauren. We already loved her before we knew her. That’s because we had been praying for her parents as they raised her even though we’d never met. And we had been praying for her as she grew and fell in love, first with God and then with Cody. What more could parents want but to have someone who has been washed through with God’s grace love their child with all of her heart? God always does more than we can even ask or imagine and, once again, He has been faithful.

Now, with the wedding behind us, it is our turn to step into the shadows and allow Cody and Lauren to form a new family and to bring to bear the best that each of them has learned as they make a new home of their own. It will be fun to watch.

As Cody and I shared a few stanzas of the last dance before they left their reception, I told him I have loved being his mom and I am so proud of him and so happy for him and Lauren. As I kissed him goodbye, I was thankful that, although I will always be his mom, God has given him another woman to love with all his heart.

Darcy Kimmel has a heart for encouraging and equipping women to maximize their unique callings in life. Her greatest joys come from her own relationships. Darcy and her husband Tim have a passion for family and together founded Family Matters, a ministry dedicated to “equipping families for every age and stage of life”. Darcy speaks with Tim around the world regarding marriage and parenting issues and has co-authored several books and video studies with him on parenting, grandparenting and family relationships.