Making the decision to have a child is momentous.

It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

~Elizabeth Stone

I watched as she swam in circles with the other children. Had I only been listening I would have heard nothing short of laughter and splashing. But I watched. And I saw my precious little girl circling with the other children not knowing a soul. Not making a noise, just going through the motions in a new world where everyone knows each other- except for her. In the mornings, when I take Hope to school, I already know her anxiety is high. I can feel it. I can hear it as her voice cracks when I ask her what’s wrong. I can see it in her watery eyes as she holds back the tears. There has been a few times when I have walked her over to the black top where the children play before school starts. I have stayed back at a distance just to observe. I watch as she walks over by her classroom door and the other children play. She looks around nervously. And stands- alone. It takes everything from within me not to go over there and just stand by her until either another child approaches her or it’s time to go in. I almost want to make friends for her because she’s so shy. But I’m thinking in fifth grade, that’s probably not very cool. I was talking with a mom who has a daughter in Hope’s class. She said that her daughter had come home to tell her about the new girl. The little girl told her mom, “Mommy, she’s very lonely”. Talk about a momma’s heart breaking. The little girl also told her mom that when the new girl (Hope) talked about her friends she cried a little. Right now for my sweet ten year old, everything in her world seems a little bit harder.

You see, we have moved from Colorado to Texas. We are the newbie’s. And I want more than anything to protect my children from pain. I wish I could just run over to her and say, “If your heart is hurting and your feeling pain, just stay with me and I will protect you”. Because that’s what we, as mommas want to do. As soon as the nearest sign of pain starts to approach our children, we want to hover and protect.  I even did this the other day with my 8 year old. He has wanted to play football for as long as I can remember. In Colorado they have flag football for his age. Well, down here they have tackle football. He came home last week and asked if he could play. The PE teacher talked about it in class. He was just so excited that they have tackle football for his age. As you can imagine, the first thing that passed through this momma’s heart was fear. What if he gets tackled too hard? What if he sustains a life long injury? All of the sudden, my faith turned into fear and the ‘what if’s’ were endless. I had to get a grip. It is not my job to shelter my child from the world, it is my job to ask for God’s wisdom to raise them up and prepare them for the world.  So I said a prayer straight from God’s Word: John 17:15- My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. So I signed my dear sweet eight year old up for tackle football (yes, I will take your prayers also).

Just last week my friend took her daughter to college. She said everything was fine until they went to say goodbye. Then her daughter began to panic and begged her mom not to leave her there. Her daughter was in new place where she knew no one. My friend, being filled with the Holy Spirit had to speak into her daughter’s life, speak into that fear that was so real to her daughter, and then, she had to drive away. You see, she wasn’t leaving her daughter in the hands of some secular institution. No, she was driving off knowing she’s in Gods hands now. (And truly, always has been).

That was the same word God had given me for a friend that had what you would call a ‘prodigal’ daughter. Her daughter was raised in the church, but not at all serving the Lord. Her daughter was lost and that momma’s heart was breaking. Listen to Matthew 18:12-14-  12“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

This is what the Lord has been speaking about to me these past few weeks. And I believe it’s what He’s saying to each of us. “I love your children more than you do. When your heart is breaking for your children, so is Mine. Call out to Me on behalf of your little ones, and know that I am a faithful God.” Over and over I hear Him whispering to me, “I love them more than you do, they are mine, I love them more than you will ever know…”.  And over and over again I’ve had to release them to Him. And I will forever be releasing them to Him. Every football game, every time my daughter cries her self to sleep, every time my six year old looks me in the eyes with those big deep brown eyes and says, “I’ve got this mom, I’ve got this”. When I drop them off in the nursery and they cling to my skirt and want nothing more than to stay with me, I once again must trust that Father knows best and must release them into the unknown, knowing that God knows.

I walked into my daughter’s room last night to tuck her in. My husband was already in there. Before I opened the door I listened and said a prayer of thanksgiving to my Savior. You see, she was asking my husband what scriptures he read when he had a hard time at a new school. He was showing her in the Bible where to go for comfort. I know she will look back at this someday and see the Lords hand and realize just how faithful He is. If we try to protect them from everything, how will they ever experience for themselves Gods faithfulness? Hey, I was that new kid once that use to go and sit in the bathroom at recess so no one would ever have to see me walking around all by myself.  Do I ever want to revisit that moment? No, not really. But if God can use me to encourage someone else who’s struggling, well then, let it be Lord.

As I mentioned earlier, we truly need God’s wisdom. You see, the Lord says that if ANYONE lacks wisdom, he should just ask for it. James 1:5-If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. So, please hear my heart on this one. I understand that we are given a huge responsibility to raise our kids up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I am protective regarding things like sleepovers and movies they’re allowed to watch. I am not in any way saying just let them roam free and see what happens. But I am saying we need to trust that if we pray for wisdom in the area of parenting and releasing our children, the Lord will be faithful to show us what we need to do.

Lord, not only do You see how hard it is sometimes to release our kids to You, but You can also relate. You Lord, had to release Your one and only Son in order to fulfill Your plans on this earth. As a follower of You, help us to let go of those arrows and encourage our children to fulfill Your plans. Help us not become a hindrance to the work You desire to do in their lives. Just as You released Your Son for us, help us to totally release each of our children to You -again and again, every day- Lord, for Your eternal purposes. ~Amen