It's So Hard To Let Go
This last week was quite an emotional adventure.
I spent a lot of time getting things together for my daughter to go out on her first campout without ME! Without her Dad!
All on her own!
We are not a camping family. My daughter, however, wants to experience camping. So, we actually bought a tent and plan to attempt it as a family this summer.
This is how I planned our first time out as a family. We would find a campsite, with showers, bathrooms, and the place would be very clean, for our first venture out there in the camping world.
So when I found out her scout troop, American Heritage Girls, was doing a camp for the weekend, I signed her up for DAY camp ONLY.
Last Monday, she informed me she wanted to do the overnight camp, not just day camp. As the week went on with the (clear my throat here) “guidance” of my parents, family, etc…my no...Then my maybe...was turned into an "OKAY" with a groan.
My daughter was super excited.
Many hands went into getting everything together for her overnight camping trip.
And many prayers went up as I thought of my daughter at camp without me, without my husband.
An amazing thing happened though…I did wake up a few times thinking of all the horrible things that could happen to her while she was sleeping at camp, hiking in the woods, sitting by the fire, and hanging out by the water.
BUT…I also was able to put those things into God’s hands much easier than I ever have before.
What came to my mind while I was worrying about the horrible things my imagination had conjured up was…
To meditate on good and holy things as it says in Philippians 4:6-9;
"6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
To truly cast my cares upon Him, and let Him handle them. (1 Peter 5:7)
When I looked at my daughter, I realized, God has a plan of His own for her, and all of my worrying will not stop her last days on this earth from happening. He already knows her days from beginning to end.
I am not to meditate on the horrible things. Yes, I am to be WISE. To teach her how to handle herself, but God is the one that is her protector, her shield, her savior, her healer, and He is her God.
Do I trust Him with those I love?
As much as I didn’t want her to go…I wanted her to go. I decided to think of the fun she would have and I got things together so she would be prepared for what was ahead. I thought of the things she would experience and the relationships she would develop on her own, and the many memories that would come from a time hanging out with the girls.
One morning about a month ago, my friend and I were taking a walk that led us downtown. We stood on the sidewalk contemplating whether to get a coffee or just keep walking. As I looked down at the sidewalk in thought, two pairs of shoes walked by, close together…a pair of dress shoes, and a pair of tennis shoes.
I chased those shoes down and got permission to take a picture.
Come to find out…the shoes belonged to a mother and her daughter. The mom was in tennis shoes and the daughter was in dress shoes.This picture spoke volumes to me.
As a mom, we start out carrying our children everywhere they go.
Then we stand near and watch as they struggle to take their first steps.
We hold their hands and lead them.
And we walk beside them taking care of many details they have absolutely no clue about as they go through their daily life.
We walk with them hoping they will stay on the road we started them on or possibly find an even better one than we dream for them to travel.
And then there are those times in all different types of seasons and different types of ways…
We stand back and we watch them take a path we have no idea where it will lead.
As a mom, I walk beside my daughter, but God is within her.
And my trust must be in Him and where He will lead her.
Sometimes it’s so hard to let go.
Yes, when we arrived at the campground after driving down a muddy, narrow, curvy road, and walked on a muddy path, almost a mile to the campsite through the woods, and then discovered the place needed to be swept out from bugs, and the bathroom was almost a mile away…I struggled. I wanted to hold on to her so tight.
But she wanted me to let her go.
I quickly tried to cover all the bases so she would have everything she needed.
She wanted me to know she was okay and could handle it.
My sister pulled me from the campsite to soon.
But then isn’t it always too soon when you leave your child to experience yet another thing on their own?
After hugs and kisses goodbye the walk back to the car was emotional for me, knowing we were at yet another stage of growth, it is always bittersweet, I was sad to let go, yet excited and proud about what she can or may do.
Despite the tears, I felt peaceful…because I knew God was with her even when I wasn’t.
God never sleeps. I do.
God is in her. I’m not.
God sees and hears all things. I don’t.
God and I both love her, but I could never love her the way He does.
And God is in me. He walked with me as I went on my adventure of putting worry down and focusing on what is around me and what I could take care of and trusting Him with the rest. I can’t do anything about the rest.
A few hours later I got a picture…
That smile was worth setting down my worry and getting her prepared for a great adventure in her life.
God took care of all of the rest.
I'd love to hear your comments about how God has helped you to let go and trust Him.