Today I sit alone at my table looking out at my snow-covered yard. My heart is heavy. Family invigorates me, but my loved ones aren’t here. As I face the prospect of weeks and possibly months of little or no physical contact, I grieve. The tears are close to the surface today. I want what I cannot have and I ask God – why?
As He has many times in my life, God asks me to let go. That is so hard. I don’t want to. I want to snuggle my grandchildren and share intimate moments with my children. I want to embrace my family and show them how much I love them. More than anything, I desire to keep them safe.
I vividly remember when my first-born started kindergarten. As many parents do, I walked her to school for the first while. It was so hard to send her off into the world and into someone else’s care. I relished my time with my children and I believed she was safer at home than anywhere else. My daughter made that time even more challenging for me at her insistence that she walk to school herself. In reality she could. In our small prairie town there was little danger and the straight path to school was an easy one to follow.
I remember the trust it took that first morning she walked out the door alone. She was proud as punch and I was praying. Lord – how do I let her go? What if…..? Yet I knew I couldn’t keep her safe by keeping her close. My job was to train her up to be a person who could manage on her own.
My gut was in knots as she said her goodbyes. My world would never be the same again. Pride in my responsible child conflicted with all the worries rolling around in my head. It was a battle for certain. Ultimately, I lay my concerns at the foot of the cross and I took God at His word, that He would watch over her and care for her.
Years later I watched my youngest child walk on his way to school. When I stood in my upstairs bedroom, I could see his route for a long way. I chuckled as I watched him curiously explore every little puddle and twig as he walked. Life was an adventure for him, and I joined in as I silently observed him exploring his environment on his school journey.
My attitude was so different this time around. It was easier to let my fourth child go than my first. For one thing, I had gone through this letting go three times before. Yet there is more to it than that. Through my life experiences, I had learned to trust God to watch over my children. I had seen God’s track record and knew His promises are true.
As we face very uncertain times right now, I feel like the mom I was with my first child going off to school. There are so many questions as I think about how my children, spread all across this country, will manage in this time of crisis. I want to hold them close and tell them it’s going to be okay because Mom is here. But I can’t do that. There is nothing physically I can do to ensure it is safe for them.
I go back to what I have done for years – entrust my children into God’s gracious hands. Is it hard? Absolutely! I want to fix things and make them right for my family. I desperately want to do something and feel totally powerless.
Thankfully, God is powerful. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. I have weathered many storms in my life and God has kept His word. Sometimes He delivers me from the challenges I face, but often, He walks me through them. Throughout the arduous journey He guides me, nurtures me, instructs me, comforts me, and restores me.
There is no storm in life where God won’t be there. Hold onto that fact. Let go and let Him work in your life to get you through these rough times. Stop trying to figure it all out yourself and let God in – He will do amazing things in your life. I know that for certain.
I can’t ensure my loved ones are safe but I can entrust them to the One who will keep them safe for eternity. May you rest in God’s grace and mercy as you cast your cares upon Him.