That’s what I tell myself. I’m starting week two of this new chapter of life with my triplets in full-day school for the first time. The reality of my children getting bigger is hitting me like a ton of bricks. Have you experienced the time when you have to “open your hands so they can spread their wings and fly” as my best friend told me? If not yet, you will. Mine are only in first grade, but I think about moms and dads who have kids off to college and beyond.
It’s such a mix of emotions. It’s partly sad to see them become so independent from us, but it’s also beautiful to see these little people we’ve molded for so many years experience life. They’re becoming more and more of who God wants them to be (I have to keep reminding myself of this!)
Henry Cloud, a Christian author, wrote,
“Parenting is a temporary job. One day your children will have to go off on their own. After they have gone, the character you built into them will guide them.”
This is training ground for the adults they will become. The choices they will make. As we teach our children about character and loving God and others, we can also instill in their hearts that the Lord goes before them. He has a great purpose for each of them. Let’s encourage our children to figure out what that is and cheer them on along the way.
On a practical level, how do we teach our children that the Lord will go before them?
We can memorize Psalm 59:10 together, pray it with them, and discuss what it means. And if they are experiencing fear, we can share that Jesus’ disciples were also afraid. In Matthew 14:27, Jesus immediately spoke to his disciples: “Take Courage. It is I! Don’t be afraid.” Jesus says the same thing to each of our children. Do not be afraid. It is I! The Lord will go before you.settle into my own heart.
An interesting thing happens when I teach my kids these truths. The words begin to settle into my own heart. And I need them just as much as my kids.
Part of me wants to grip my hand closed and not let them go. But, then, these words echo in my heart: “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid,” and “God will go before me.”
After I walk my kids to school, and arrive back to my quiet house, I have a choice: To have faith the Lord has gone ahead of my children and me, or not. I choose to believe. It’s a daily choice I strive to make because it doesn’t always come naturally. I think that’s why Jesus spoke over and over about the importance of having faith. He knew we wouldn’t always feel it.
What is your choice? What do you choose to believe? He longs for you to have faith and believe in Him. He believes in you.
Before I know it, 3pm is here and the chatter of little voices has arrived again. Home sweet home.
So, take a deep breath, shed some tears and smile, knowing that God has already gone ahead of our children, and us. Together, let’s take courage, moms and dads. We. Can. Do. This!