Letting them go… Trust Part 2
In Part 1, which you can read here, I shared about the mother of Moses, Jochebed. She was forced to make a life changing decision to save her son from the orders of Pharaoh which stated that ALL baby boys must be killed at birth. Jochebed attempted to hide him as long as she could, but when she could no longer keep him she made the difficult decision to release him. She built a basket for protection, and I am sure she prayed to God for security, peace in her decision. She walked to the water and let him go. Those words, “Let him go,” hurt my heart. As she watched and allowed him to float away, she made the boldest move of trust and set an example that still resonates today.
Last week we dropped our oldest daughter off to college, We “let her go,” and a piece of my heart was left in Arkansas. Yesterday I left another piece of my heart, John Scott, in Louisiana. We are “letting him go.” As they move away we are letting go of so much more than just their physical presence in our day to day lives, we are letting go of knowing their every move, letting go of control, letting go of them emotionally in so many ways. Not that we aren’t still very present, but we are forced to disconnect in ways that sting a mommas heart. We can’t rescue them from the bumps and bruises of life, we can’t catch them when they fall, we are in a new role in their lives now and trust is at the forefront.
As parents we spend most of our kids lives attempting to be in control. Guarding them when they take their first steps, walking them to their first day of school, cautiously allowing them to climb at the playground, and providing bikes with training wheels so they don’ t fall. We want to protect them, shelter them and control their destiny because we are convinced that no one could love this child more than their mother loves them. But we are mistaken, there is someone who loves them more…God, the creator of the Heavens and the Earth. The very one who knit them together in your womb, He loves them even more than we can imagine. So why is it so hard to let go? To release them in the water, and watch them float? I believe it’s because this is the ultimate moment of trust. Trusting ourselves as parents, and trusting God in their lives. This is the moment we question everything we have done for them over the last 18 years. The “what ifs” take over and doubt sets in. What if, I didn’t teach them all they need to know? What if, I regret the times I could have spent with them, but didn’t ? What if, they don’t know how much I love them? What if, they don’t know how to cook a meal, wash their clothes, get up on time without repeated reminders? What if they forget to not talk to strangers, though everyone is a stranger? The “what if’s” game will drive you crazy if you allow it and the doubt will sweep over you like a black cloud that wants to stick around. Before you know it you will be wearing a banner and crown that says “Mom Failure” and trust in God’s plan for your children is a distant memory.
Jochebed watched as Moses’ little basket made its way down the Nile. That was his security, his physical protection. How many of your kids had or still have a security pillow or blanket? My kids each had 2 blankets given to them by my mom at their birth. I swaddled them in it when they were babies, covered them when they were toddlers, they carried them to restaurants and friends houses. These blankets helped them feel close to home, close to me. The smell, the touch, the stains all serving a distinct purpose of security and trust for them that I am not too far away. Home is not too far away. Moses’ mom new God, she trusted him with her most prized possession, she believed in the vision and plan that God had for her son and she new it was better than anything she could have envisioned for him, so she let him go, wrapped in HIS security.
How do we become like Jochebed? How do we turn from “what if,” doubt and self imposed failure status to trusting, visionary moms in our kids lives? For me, there is only one way. I consistently surrender my own plans, my own desires, my own dreams all of my “what if’s” over to the One who already has it all figured out. Is it easy? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY YES! My role has shifted, I no longer control their decisions, I no longer can protect them from the pains of this life, the bumps and the bruises. They no longer need their security blankets to keep them safe and close to home. My role now is to trust, pray, surrender my worries to God who is their security, their protector and the one who is in control. I weep out of my own selfishness for wanting more time, just one more bedtime story because change and growth are hard, but I rejoice as well in the opportunity to discover more about who they are becoming and celebrating Gods plan for them.
All of my kids still have their blankets, Chandler carried hers to college, you can see in this picture they are draped over her bed, John Scott brought one with him and gave me one to keep back home. Isn’t it interesting how during this role shift he knew Momma needed more security than he would need? He walked in my room this morning and said, Momma, “here you go, keep it and don’t lose it,” as he handed me his blanket. Not only did he know, but God knows this isn’t easy on us mommas, so I count this as one of those “I see your pain, and I’ve got this” messages from the Lord personally to me. John Scott may never know that it was just what my heart needed as I “let go” of another one of my babies, to float the river of life trusting in the One who loves them more than I can imagine. It is MY reminder that they are not far from home, nor will they ever be far from me. As I have told them since they were babies, no matter where you are, you are always in my heart.
Until next time, Courtney
Chandlers Room with blankets, and John Scott’s blanket for Me…