Friday, August 18, 2017

Loving God Enough to Let Go

Copyright: kuznetsovkonsta / 123RF Stock Photo
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness
        by trusting the Lord.
(Psalm 4:5, GW)

Last week I spent five days in a row with a group of remarkable "warrior moms" at a special needs day camp. On Friday mornings I have been training an inspiring group of mothers to be mentors. Other days I am speaking with parents one-on-one, in our small groups, or connecting with moms and dads by happenstance. The prevailing theme always seems to be the samefear and worry.

At the same time, I am preparing to send one of my children who is still in search of medical answers abroad for a full year of study in Japan. Her college advisers have marveled at how her father and I cheer her on in this endeavor. We are so proud of her! And while I hate the thought of not hugging my precious girl in my arms for an entire eleven months, I cannot wait for the woman she will become on this trip. 

At camp, we shared many, many stories of our children. My daughter's release was juxtaposed to other parents who are terrified to even leave their child alone with their spouses. The dread of the new school year also seemed to haunt many. Others still were wrestling with the thought of their child's transitions to adulthood in the not-so-distant future. 
Copyright : ymgerman
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
(Proverbs 22:6, NKJV)

"I don't know how you can be so calm about letting her go!" one of the mothers commented to me at camp. 

I have had parents I serve say virtually the same thing to me as my daughter's departure draws nearer.

Strangely, if you had ever told me that I would be at this point of peace twenty years ago, I would have told you that you were crazy. Still, God has done a work in me that only He could do. In my younger years, I had an almost relentless desire to be a mother. That certainly made it extra-challenging going through repeated miscarriage and infertility treatment. I was also a high-strung control freak. But God broke me of that tendency as He taught me very early on in parenthood to hold my children with an open hand

Perhaps hemophilia was a gift to me in this way. The worst things always seemed to happen to my son when I was standing right next to him or when they were without explanation. Like the time he stood up in the double stroller and landed face first on the hospital floor, seemingly bleeding from nose and mouth, astonishing his hematologist who hadn't really dealt with a toddler having frank bleeding in recent years. Or the time he got into the car after school one day after school with an "Ouch!" to his upper thigh and then ended up hospitalized for a week with home health care for a month because of a life-threatening bleed in his hip compartment. 

"We like to have control, don't we?" I pondered with the camp moms. 

The funny thing is that if having a medically fragile child or one with special needs doesn't teach you that you are not in control, nothing will. 

God has proven Himself faithful before and He will be again. Jesus told us that God has numbered every hair on our heads. I haven't even done that with my own child's head. How much MORE must God love my child than I! 

In the worst of circumstances our Father has been provider, comforter, healer, and defender. When things seem hopeless, He is our hope. Despite hardships, He shows us an incomparable peace and joy.

The natural response to this matchless love is for me to love God enough to let go. As I release my children to Him, I worship Him with my trust. And each time I trust Him, He shows Himself more trustworthy. After all, 90% of the things we worry about never come to fruition! 

With the unsettling behavior of North Korea increasing, my eldest and I have had the "what if something happened" talk. She was taken aback when I expressed to her that, while I would be crushed if the worst case scenario took place, I have the blessed confidence that I will see her soon again in heaven. She would be the lucky duck who got to beat me there! That reassurance of knowing what will happen to my girl regardless of earthly circumstances is a blessing beyond all measure. 

So as I lovingly escort my daughter to board that plane to Japan; as I trust my son to venture out one more day, despite having missed an infusion; as I suddenly allow my youngest daughter to have a sleepover with her new-found friends, I know that my faithful Savior will go with each of them when I cannot be there. They will spread wings to become their best selves. And I grow deeper in love with the One who is truly worthy.  

Pray with me...

Father, we parents raising remarkable kids always seem to have to be on high alert. A disproportionate amount of worry and concern seems to haunt moms and dads like us. Holy Spirit, fill us with Your strength to push through those emotions to a point where we can trust You fully with our children. Help us to love you enough to let go.

~ Barb Dittrich

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post. My daughter just finished her first week of 1st grade. There are some issues that need to be addressed and I was going to handle them. I didn't even think to give it to God and ask for guidance. He's already worked it out. There's NOTHING left for me to do, but follow God's guidance with an obedient heart and mind.