Several years ago, when our second son went overseas, to England, he planned to settle there. That would have made, one son in Australia and the other in England. How awful! I had some sort of emotional/panic attack. I couldn’t sit still. I had to walk all the time or work. I was exhausted. I had to open the car window all the time, as I “couldn’t breathe.” It really got bad!
I decided to go the Adventist Hospital. God was really in control as He directed me to a wonderful young doctor. He interviewed me and I did my best to explain my “symptoms.” He listened and then he prayed. He said, “I am not going to give you medicine. I think you have a ‘wonderful problem’, a problem that I wish more Chinese mothers had. You care deeply about your children and you did not try and talk them out of going in their chosen directions, like a lot of mothers. But now you are feeling sad, lonely, scared (for them). God sees your heart and He sees the extreme love you have for your boys.
“I don’t prescribe medicine, but prayer. Pray that day by day God will remove a little of the loneliness from you. Most of all, thank God that. He has made you into a concerned parent, so many don’t really care THAT much. God has given you that extreme love for your family, it’s a gift. You have another privilege, you can pray each day for your son (whatever you discern you need to pray for him, there is no greater gift we can give someone than to pray for them).”
It was not an earthshattering diagnosis, but it ministered to me there and then. Not everyone has a great love for their children, not everyone releases their children to be what God wants them to be, not every family is close.
Also that same week the Bible spoke to me regarding Samuel. Hannah had Samuel (God”s gift to her). She gave him up to minister before the Lord, far away from her home. He was with the priest Eli, a far from an ideal situation. She GAVE him up. Then later on, Samuel’s circuit as a Judge took him back to Ramah (his home). Hannah got back what she gave up and pleased the Lord immensely.
For 12 years we had listened to my daughter as she first learned to play, and then progressed to being a pretty good pianist. I loved listening to her play. The day that the piano was moved, I sobbed. Eight years later, my eyes still well up thinking about it. Those are precious memories that the Lord gives us to keep for all of our lives here on earth.
Now my daughter is a middle school music teacher, sharing her passion and the gift of music with her students. Life moves on, but the memories are forever in our hearts.
Change isn’t easy for me either. But the grace and mercy of God continues to uphold me and see me through the many changes in my life. I am grateful that He is with me through all the changes. He is very patient, gentle, and loves us so much.
Change could almost be called a four letter word to me, especially as I have grown older. As a child I couldn’t wait for change. As a little child I couldn’t wait to be able to play outside alone, to run with the neighborhood kids, to go to the Saturday Matinee by myself. Along came preteen years and oh how I could not wait to go on a date, to wear makeup, to stay up later. Then the teen years were upon me and I couldn’t wait to go to college, to move out, to be married and be a mom.
Then the day came when I woke up as a wife and a mom and realized how fast things had changed and were changing and I wanted time to stop. I balked at changed, got mad at it and even tried to stop it at times. But then the Lord would step in a say, “Is not my way the better way? Don’t allow Satan the victory.” But I seem to fail with every change. “When will I grow up or mature in the Lord,” I would ask myself. Until the day of the biggest change in my life!
God decided to allow my 20-year-old son to come home to Him. Oh how could I not balk or scream or change this CHANGE?! When I balked, allowing Satan to infiltrate my mind, God gave me His word, memorized over the years to refute him. When I screamed, God bundled me in His arms and calmed my spirit. When I felt I couldn’t go on with any more of life’s changes, He whispered His love and mercy to me. Will there be times when I still balk and scream at changes? Oh, I am sure. But I know beyond a doubt that He who is faithful will be there right with me helping me to accept and get through these changes. Oh what a FAITHFUL, WONDERFUL GOD WE HAVE!
I think I know how you are feeling about your son moving out and getting married. You must be so pleased and happy for him but at the same time sad that your season of mothering really is about to close. I felt much the same when Katie (you remember she’s our youngest) left school and went off to Australia on her gap year. I wept as my baby ‘left home’, and I felt hopeless and helpless wondering what on earth I was meant to do next. But God saw to my needs almost immediately and I started taking a leading role in the weekly Bible Study Group I was attending. I know He will do the same for you too.
Oh it’s so hard to realize our kids are growing up so fast. It’s such a happy time, a wedding to celebrate, and yet a sad time. You will all be making new memories and relating to your son and wife-to-be differently as well.
I too, feel I am in a season of change!! Our son is now stationed in San Diego, CA, and never writes , rarely calls, and then only for money, and we cannot even see him with his crazy schedule. My husband and I would gladly fly out there to see him, but he never knows when his ship will be out at sea doing maneuvers
He is not finished with you yet. For now, enjoy this time of transition by letting Him direct your new schedule. Enjoy your husband. Renew your devotion to him. Remember, he is also going through this strange new land as well. Cook his favorite meal or dessert and be there for him. These are the years when you will have romance unhindered and a comfortable, enjoyable relationship, unhindered by the inexperience of youth. A wonderful time for romance!
A poem her mother gave her when her two daughters left home.
It was hard to let you go
To watch womanhood reach out and snatch you
Long before the mothering was done
But if God listened to Mothers and gave in
Would the time for turning lose of daughters ever come?
It was hard when you went away
For how was I to know
The serindipity of letting go
Would be seeing you come home again
And meeting in a new way
Woman to woman
Friend to Friend
My husband and I are “empty nesters” as of Sept. 1 We have three girls, 22, 20 and 18 years old. Do I miss my girls my girls? Yes, but I also feel light in spirit. Why? I have no regrets. Not that we always did things right, but before God we tried to listen to people’s advice, follow Biblical patterns of parenting and Trust in our Huge God!!!
My prayer was to raise three godly women who know how to walk with God and yet relate to people in this world and I see it happening. How can I be sad at that? They e-mail all the time, phone me, still want my advice in love, shopping and recipes. I am indeed blessed.
A friend just wrote a poem as her son went off to University that I found so beautiful and thougtht maybe it might help others..
Let You Fly
for Jon, from Mom, June 2003
One by one we raise our sons
to face the sky, to learn to fly,
to spread their wings, and venture high.
With God’s help we chide and guide
and train them ’til we’re satisfied.
We nurture each, and coach and teach
and challenge them to think and reach
beyond themselves, approach the edge,
to look a while beyond the ledge.
And as you poise, our hearts rejoice.
With trembling voice, we whisper, “Fly!”
We urge you upward to the sky.
No sooner has the word escaped
than halting, faltering courage breaks.
“Return!” my inner spirit quakes,
“Return to me, for my heart aches
to keep you near, not far from here,
where never fear nor tear appears
to cloud the sky or dim the eye.
Or teach my fledgling how to fly.”
I hesitate, want you to wait,
to linger longer at the gate.
But you must go
and I must know
that this is how
So, fly my son.
You are prepared.
Take heady gulps of pure, wide air.
Let the Spirit take you there
where you may soar in places rare.
a gentle push I offer thee.
You are free.
Yourself. Not me.