School is starting this week for many of us, if it hasn’t already, and for some moms this can bring a fair amount of stress and anxiety. We may not feel great about our child’s school or her friends or her teacher this year. We may have concerns about our daughter’s development or how she’ll make it through algebra. We may wonder if we’ll ever have a good relationship with our teen again.
And then there are those of us who are facing a new kind of letting go. This week I am taking my youngest daughter to college, and next week I take my middle daughter to a new city 800 miles away where she’ll spend the next three years in grad school. Very soon my nest will be empty.
I’m trying to have the right perspective on it, I really am. On most days I believe with all my heart that this is a great thing, the right thing, the best thing. It is! But I’d be less than human if I didn’t admit that at times (and sometimes at the strangest times), my throat closes up and my eyes well with tears and I just struggle for a few minutes.
This prayer is for those moments that we all experience. The moments when our chest hurts for loving our daughters so hard and we wonder how we will make it through the changes. So whether you’re sending your first to kindergarten or your last to college, this prayer is for you.
Thank you that you see us.
You see the mom who lingers in the carpool line, watching her daughter walk into school for the first time, wishing she would stop growing up so fast. You see her tears pooling just beneath the surface and her struggle to keep those tears from falling. But they do.
You see the mom who struggled with her teen just this morning over the outfit or the boyfriend or the homework. Already. She only wants the best for her daughter because she loves her so very much.
You see the mom with the disabled child who is wondering how the year will unfold. You see her deep concerns that her child is well loved by her teacher and by the other children in her class. You see the worry about her daughter’s future and her health.
You see the mom taking her daughter to college for the first time—the nervous excitement, anticipation, and fear all rolled into one. You see the sorrow, the regret, and the joy—all normal parenting emotions that seem just a bit heightened right now.
Lord, please walk closely with each mother who is struggling to let her daughter go. No matter what stage of life we may be in, letting go is never easy. Letting go is a process, and yet, letting go is what we are called to do as parents. Help us to do so with grace so that our children can become all that you have called them to be.
And Lord, please help us, on the days that seem especially hard, to remember that you also let go. You let go of your only son, which couldn’t have been easy, so that he could fulfill your calling. You gave up your beloved so that we could live—the ultimate letting go.
Make us women who cling tightly to you when the storms rage and the seas roar. You are our anchor, our rock, our foundation. Help us to put our trust in you alone for our children, for we recognize that without you, we (and they!) can do nothing.
In Jesus’s name and for His sake, Amen.