"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
As I think about this season of my life, I experience a variety of emotions. I want to cry, I want to cheer, I want to smother, I want to release. I must admit, I have acted on all of these emotions in the last few weeks.
I have cried every time I think about my youngest daughter graduating from high school. I am sad that I will no longer have the little girl of ponytails and skinned knees, needing me to cradle her and sit on the floor and play with her. I am sad to think that this season of mothering young children is over. I have loved being a mom through most stages of my kids’ lives. I am faced with the inevitable fact that time goes on and I am getting older. All of these realizations bring sadness to my heart and tears to my eyes.
I have cheered as my daughter walked across the stage at graduation. She finished high school and her teenage years well. She is a beautiful young woman inside and out. She loves the Lord and strives to follow Him in her decisions. She has a great future ahead of her. Mine and my husband’s goals for our children has been that they grow up loving God and serving Him with their whole heart and life. I praise the Lord when I see the love my children have for Him. I also am happy that, as my last child moves into a new stage of life, my husband I will also move into a new stage of life. I am looking forward to this empty nest and the time it will give me to focus on my marriage in a different way.
I have to admit that I have the urge to hold on too tight to my daughter right now. I know she is a very capable young adult, but I so want to “mother” her and keep complete control. I will be praying for God’s help, especially in this area. I must trust that she is in His hands and He has control of her life. As she makes choices, I must trust that I have done my job as a parent to show her how to make wise choices and pray for her to lean on the knowledge and wisdom that she had gained.
I have had to release many things these past few weeks. I have had to release my daughter into the future she will have. I have had to release my fears of the unknown. What will it be like to be “alone” with my husband again? What choices are my children making that will affect their futures? I must release the expectations that I have for this next stage of life and look at it with expectancy knowing that God is in control.
I claim God’s promise from Zephaniah 3:17 for my daughter and for myself as we move into this next phase:
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. God will take great delight in you. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with singing.”