For many families, today marked the first day of a new school year. My social media stream is brimming with back-to-school photos; smiling students, full of hope for what lies ahead. For me, I sit here in a house that is eerily quiet, after a summer full of fun, laughter and memories made….and nearly constant sibling rivalry too (just keeping it real, friends.)
I’m trying not to cry. (#truth)
It’s. Just. Too. Quiet.
My house suddenly feels like it’s a thousand times larger than it is, which makes it FAR emptier than normal. I’m acutely aware of what’s missing…WHO is missing.
A big chunk of my heart went out the door this morning before 7:30AM, and I need to be ok with that.
Because it’s NOT about me. I’m reminding myself over and over again this morning. It’s not about me.
My kids are not “mine.” Yes, I carried them in my womb for nine months each. Yes, I birthed them. Yes, I have raised them every day since they took their first breath. But, still…they are not mine.
They are His.
Like me, my children are also children of God. Their purpose in life is not about fulfilling my life. Their existence isn’t about my own pleasure. And, I’m reminding myself that my happiness doesn’t depend on them. They are a large part of my life, but they are not my life. And I’m not theirs.
We belong to our Creator, and our purpose in life is about Him.
While everything in me wants to wrap my arms (and bubble wrap) around my kids and protect them from any and all harm, I have to remind myself that we all learn more through discomfort than comfort. We benefit from mistakes and lessons learned the hard way. We grow only when we are stretched; only when we’re pushed beyond what we think we can handle.
Most importantly, FAITH happens when we are pushed beyond ourselves and we have no choice but to trust. It’s what remains when we reach our end. And, sometimes, that’s the very best thing that can happen to us.
If I want my kids to know God, trust Him and truly believe in His promises, I have to let go. I have to let them experience life, take risks, and possibly incur pain, fear and failure. I have to let them walk out on limbs. I have to trust God, just as much as I want them to trust God. (Parenting sure is an exercise in faith, isn’t it?)
The great news is that we can always have hope. ALWAYS. Because our God wants us to have life to the fullest (John 10:10); He never leaves us (Deuteronomy 31:6); He promises us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11.) AND…when that doesn’t happen in the moment, we can rest in the fact that He work ALL THINGS for our good (Romans 8:28.)
He is a good, good Father. A loving Father. A gracious, lavish, abundant, adoring, omnipotent Father.
He is trustworthy — Worthy. Of. Trust.
And, so we must let go…and trust. For our kids and for ourselves.
Eyes off of myself. Eyes off of my kids. Eyes upward, where all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26)
Trusting in Him, who is worthy, for a great school year – and a growing faith – for all. Off we go with great hope and praise…
Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.