A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
To me, motherhood has always seemed to be about holding on and letting go. Recently,however, there’s been just a little too much letting go for my comfort.
My baby girl, Baleigh, left for Kenya last week. With my third daughter in the middle of Air Force Basic Training, and now my youngest daughter miles away, I’m beginning to think that perhaps their adventures are actually God’s training ground for me.
I’ve always been better at holding on than letting go and I’m just not sure these are lessons that I really want to learn! Years ago, when these children were just babies, I didn’t envision how quickly this time would come!
When I was newly married, I took a management/leadership test. The much-anticipated results showed that my leadership type was to be a Pacesetter/Coach. In other words, I’m that leader. The one that says, “You can do it! You can do it!” But, when the time comes for action, I’ll step in and say, “How about I do it, just to make sure it’s done right.” NOT a good leadership style for a mom and not a leadership style that makes letting go simple!
No, letting go is hard for a Pacesetter/Coach like me. Fortunately, I have two people, my husband and the Holy Spirit, who interject themselves into my life and basically say, “STOP IT!” I’m learning to listen to their conviction…um,er…encouragement.
Our Baleigh is a high school graduate and an extremely competent young lady, so her trip to Kenya was a great training ground for me to learn to step back and let go.That letting go process began with her packing…
I certainly would have organized much differently than that! But, I kept my opinion to myself…
I would have put each pill in its own individual teeny tiny baggie with the date for the pill to be taken written in indelible marker. But I didn’t say anything…
Beef jerky!! Seriously??? Where are the healthy snacks?? Again, I kept my mouth shut…
I might have said a few things about her hair. But just a few.
Subtle: “Can you see through those bangs?”
Less Subtle: “I miss your eyes…”
Not So Subtle At All: “Don’t you want to pull those bangs back?”
All my “subtle” comments earned me a well-deserved, “MOM!” from Baleigh.
Even without my expert opinions, she did it. She got everything all packed and before I knew it we were off to the airport.
She checked her bag. Processed her passport. Checked in with the rest of her group. All without any help from me.
As she posed with the team for the final going away pictures, I realized just how useless, unnecessary, and let’s be honest, forgotten I felt.
Just about then, Baleigh came to say goodbye. She hugged me and told me that she loved me. She asked if I would remember to pray for her. I said “Yes” and off she walked. But then, she came back and said, “I”m serious Mom, I need your prayers!”
That’s when I got it…Yes, in many ways it’s time to let go of my little girl. But, I’ll always hold on to her as I hold her up to God in prayer. My prayers for her are the permanent links that will bind our hearts forever.
I’ve always prayed for Baleigh, but now I find myself praying with a new intensity. I’m praying that she’ll grow through ministering. I’m praying that she’ll see God’s hand at work. I’m praying that she’ll be blessed through teamwork and unity. I’m praying that she’ll have her world enlarged. I’m praying that she’ll get a glimpse of God’s calling in her life. I’m praying she’ll see the transforming power of the gospel in the lives of the Kenyans. And, as I pray those prayers, with thanksgiving for what He’s doing in her life, God is giving me peace in the letting go process.(Phil. 4:6-7)
Yes, motherhood is certainly about holding on and letting go. But, letting go doesn’t have to be fearful when we realize that the God who holds on to us so tightly is holding on to our children, as well. I’m praying for all of you as you hold on and let go of your precious children.