Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Tomorrow, a new school year begins for my sons. One is going into 4th grade and the other one will be a freshman in high school…I can’t believe it yet. Yesterday we went to freshman orientation and it was like having an out-of-body experience. I still remember when we went to sixth grade orientation…Grant was so lost. He felt so out of place. He knew not a soul in a gym full of kids. Now, High School. After 3 years in band he has made friends and best of all, he knows the halls of the High School which means he will not feel so lost. I am so proud of that child. He is actually excited about going to school. I, on the other hand…I worry.
Dylan...he is not ready yet. He likes to stay up late at night and sleep in the morning. He likes to spend his days doing pretty much nothing. He truly enjoys the carefree days of summer…just like his mama. Needless to say, he is not looking forward to the new school year. However, he is curious about the fact that as a fourth grader his classroom will be on the top floor. He is also feeling good about being one step closer to the top of the elementary school society ladder. Therefore, in a way, he is excited. I, on the other hand… I worry.
Like I have mentioned repeatedly, I have issues letting go. In no other area of my life is such a truth more evident than when it comes to my children. I like to hold my sons tight and close to me. As a child who once, a long time ago, left home and never really came back, I know trying to hold them is futile. They don’t belong to me. They were given to me on loan. And the loan’s is maturing right in front of my eyes. But I fear tremendously about the kind of world my sons will have to live in once they are on their own.
As I was feeling melancholic and worried about all these thoughts, I saw my Jesus Calling devotional sitting right by my computer, so I opened it on today’s reading and … yes, you guessed it, God had a message of hope that spoke straight to this very subject in a way that brought peace to my soul.
“Entrust your loved ones to Me,” the reading began… “release them to my protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.”
I know…I know all they truly ever need is Christ. I just want to be the Mother that they need. I want to make my job obsolete. I want to soften the grip of my clinging hands and release them because, as difficult and as hard to believe as this truth may sound to my ears, He does love them more than I do.
I don’t want them to feel trapped in my arms. I don’t want to suffocate them and smother them. And if I don’t watch out, that’s exactly what I might end up doing given my controlling tendencies. I remember a song by one of my favorite secular groups from when I was in college, Pearl Jam…I know, I was a huge Pearl Jam fan, what can I tell you… The thing is that they have a song that lingered in my mind as I typed these words: Release Me. As it is the case with most of Pearl Jam’s music, this is not a happy song. It is a lament. It is a son wishing he could tell his Dad to see him as he really is, to love him, and to release him. I don’t want my sons ever having to feel the need to sing this song to me.
God doesn’t want us to have idols. I need to remember that I run the risk of making my sons my idols. I pray I do learn this lesson well and release them now…relax in the peace of the knowledge that God cares for them and watch Him act in their lives as they become themselves and grow in their love for the Lord.