“ Direct your children unto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it”. Proverbs 22:6
We have arrived at this destination called “departure”. It’s the stop in the journey of my life as mom and parent, and hers as a child. Now we are at the fork in the road, so to speak, where she is becoming an adult, becoming independent. When I think about the journey itself – the roads that brought us here and the stops along the way – I am overwhelmed with thanks that God saw me strong enough and equipped me to do this “thing” called Mothering.
I still wonder almost 19 years later if I haven’t really messed her all up with my worry, my rules, my expectations, and ideas of who and what and where she should be and do and go. What if I said, “No” too often and not enough, “Yes, why not”. Should I have hugged more, laughed more, and grumbled less. I wonder if all the cards and notes I wrote and slipped in backpacks, lunch sacks and underneath pillows said enough – that my heart overflows with love that I can’t find words for, that my heart sometimes feels so big it may not hold all of this love, and the journey, the bumps and bruises, the broken hearts, the fresh starts, the, “You’ll be ok. God’s got this covered.” Were they enough? Did they convince her? More so did those words convict her?
The journey has been long and sweet and quick and hard. It’s been so much more than I could have ever imagined and it has brought us here to this spot where I get off. But she goes on her own. There is hope in this. I see the glimmer in her eyes that says, “Something good is right around the corner, and I am going to grab it and run with it and have fun with it!” And there is a sense about her a, dare I say it, maturity that I haven’t noticed before, a calm that tells me she is going to be awesome at this: her journey. A look in her eyes that says, “I am ready for this,” even if I am not.
I know I am not the only one doing this. I know I am not the only one whose heart is heavy and light all at the same time. I know there are those that have gone before me, and those that will follow after me and I know I can, we can do this. I‘ll be honest though. I am white-knuckling this, holding tight onto God and trusting in Him for all of it.
I am releasing her completely to His care, because I am hundreds of miles. Even if I wasn’t, we are at this fork in the road, and she is ready and if I can’t release her to Him, then who? I have to trust that everything we as parents have given her is tucked safely away somewhere in case she needs it along the way, because she will need it! I can tell she knows that, and she’s got it. Some of it may need to be re-sent while she’s out there discovering, but I’m here, and she knows where to find me. And I, although not holding her hand, still hold her in my heart. She knows I am just a call away.
Something tells me we are here at this destination, this fork in the road and its all good. Her road looks good and wide and beautiful. And mine? Well, it does look a little lonelier, with patches of the unknown, and what’s next, and how do I fit into this? But He’s got us both covered.
It’s time for me to let go and live out loud what I have been saying and praying for 19 years. So I lean in and hold her close and say, “I love you. I am so very proud of you. More important than that is God loves you and He’s got this! He’s got you covered. Trust Him. Talk to Him. Lean into Him”, and she leans into my hug, hugs back and says “I know Momma, I know.” And even though my tears may make it seem like I don’t believe her, my heart feels like it may not hold all of this love, but it will. I know because He is God and He has us both covered, holding us close and tight in His grip.
“No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those that love Him” 1 Corinthians 2:9