Never will I forget January 3, 2000. Alex and I awoke at 5 AM with bags packed and baby carrier in tow. The only thing missing—a baby boy, who nestled comfy in my tummy. After many, many, many hours of waiting, pokes, prods, and pushing, out popped our eight pound, one ounce bundle of joy!
Never will I forget the feeling as I looked into those sapphire eyes. And never will I forget the way those eyes looked right back at me with love and longing through those lush lashes. I knew right then that I was in love, and that some day, when he grew into a young man, girls would swoon with one blink from those big baby blues just as I did on that wintery January night.
He was perfect, and the world was perfect, and there was peace and joy and unconditional love.
And then—that little boy grew up, and no longer did he really need his mommy for much. Nope. Just like that, he began driving and dating and breaking his poor little ole momma’s heart.
And I …
I had to learn the lesson of Letting Go.
That’s right. For all of you young mothers who have never had to loosen the reins and learn the lesson of letting go, let me just assure you that the time will come (sooner than you think and quicker than you’d like) when that tiny hand that once gripped yours wiggles out, begging to fly free. No longer will you have control and be able to protect (not that you really ever had control anyway, but it was a nice way to pretend).
No longer will your little boy need you to tuck him in, or kiss him good night, or sing him a lullaby. No longer will he need you to take him to guitar lessons, or golf practice, or the movies. No longer will you be the center of his world (that is until he wants gas money for the car). For that he’ll pause long enough to give you a quick peck on the cheek and bat those baby blues once again, and of course, you’ll fall for it, because you forever fell for him the day he drifted into your life.
Okay, okay, I’m exaggerating a smidge, but not a lot. You’ll see. You will look back at 19 winters, springs, summers, and falls, and you’ll imagine the bliss and blessing of the time when he first spoke, “momma,” took those hands-free steps, swung that first club on the beach, or taught himself to ride a bike in the front yard one Sunday afternoon. You’ll see.
A wise woman said something to me about 20 years ago that I didn’t fully understand but will never forget. She said, “Being a parent is nothing but one big fat lesson of learning to let go.” She’s right. It’s difficult, painstaking and difficult. There is much fear, anxiety, and uncertainty in loosening your grip.
But God. Our loving and faithful God stands ready—always present, always engaged, always aware of what’s just over the horizon. He is constant when everyone and everything turns, changes, and grows up.
And what’s even more comforting is that letting go of God never enters the equation. His constancy, His eternality, His omnipresence beckons us to hold tight and never loosen our grip. His hand reaches ready to grasp and forever hold yours and mine. His faithfulness is a refuge.
I guess Abraham must have understood this idea of letting go best when he traveled to Moriah with his son, Isaac. He had to lay Isaac on an altar and surrender him completely—letting go with both hands in order to grip his sword to offer a loving sacrifice to His God.
That’s what Scripture says.
“But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me.” –Genesis 22:11-12
It was at that moment Abraham proved that he trusted God more than he trusted himself. By letting go of Isaac and clinging to God, Abraham’s faith blossomed. And God proved Himself faithful. It was on Mount Moriah that God revealed Himself as Jehovah-jireh—the Lord Will Provide. Literally, the meaning of this name of God is, “the Lord will see to it.” He will see to every need, every fear, every heartbreak, every question.
So how do we handle letting go? We pray. We seek God’s wisdom. We learn to hold on to our plans with a loose grip and hold on to God with both hands, firm and fervent.
And we remember, His ways are always best.
Have a blessed week!
Director of Women’s Ministry,
Prayer, and Special Needs Ministry