Letting Go and Letting God

by Paula Harrington
usflagwave.jpgBy the time you read this, my oldest child will have been at boot camp for three days.
He has mentioned joining the military since he was a boy and I will admit to you that, as a mother, I secretly hoped he would pick another career path.
Our feelings toward his decision turned from apprehension to a sense of pride. Our son is going to protect our country.
He is going to lose precious sleep to guard our freedoms. What a proud realization for a parent.
Even though I completely supported him, as we neared his departure date, my good feelings started to slip, giving way to fear and a sense of dread.
His recruiter was coming to our home. He was going to drive him to another city and soon, my son would be in the company of people I didn’t know.
The little, red-haired, freckled- faced boy that I watched grow into a young man will be under the care of people who will instill honor, respect, and a commitment that he has never known.
I’m sure there will come a day when I will be thankful for them and their influence on my child. However, today isn’t that day.
There is no harder time in a parent’s life then when we first notice that our children have grown up. Those times of rocking them to sleep, tying their shoelaces, and tucking them in at night are quickly replaced with times of wondering where they are, who they’re with, and what they’re doing.
The ticking of the clock ushers in a different role for us, and with it, comes a moment when we must step back and accept the fact that our lives have changed. It’s not a bad change, mind you, but one where we need to re-adjust, let go, and let God.
Whether your child is leaving for the military, college, or just setting out on their own, peace comes with the understanding that we’re not letting them go completely, we’re giving our fears and the hopes we have for their future to God.
We’re trusting him exclusively, confident that he will care for them better than we ever could.
In these life-altering moments, may we turn to one who knows how it feels to send his child into a cold and bitter world. A father who was fully aware of everything that would befall his son. Yet out of a great love for us, sent him anyway. Nothing could be more comforting than knowing that.

5 Replies to “Letting Go and Letting God”

  1. Paula-
    My son finishes college next year. Last night he came to me and we had “the talk” again about going into the Marines. I spent over four years in the military so I’m not anti at all. Four years ago I convinced him that a degree would allow him to go in as an officer. Well, he still wants to go, to serve, to “do something real” (his words), to “be an adrenaline junkie (his words also).
    I told you once before that it never occurred to me when I went in to even think about how my decision affected my mother and father…. I guess God’s just letting me understand one more thing in life.
    I will pray for your boy.

  2. Marine boot was a real shaping experience for our son in many ways. When he came home, he had what I can only describe as quiet confidence. He now knew what he could do, so he didn’t have to talk about it. I remember asking him what the biggest difference was when he visited his old high school. “People moved out of my way when I walked down the hall,” he said. There’s something to be said for a military bearing!
    Blessings to you as you adapt to having a man with his own mind. It’s not easy!

  3. It is so hard to let our children begin new journeys. I have four daughters and it never became easier from the first one to the last one as they left home.
    The title of this post is very appropriate…Let Go and Let God.
    Prayers for all of you.

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