This Too Shall Pass
When David and I went upstairs to tuck our precious daughter, Kylie into bed this past Monday, we found her red-faced and crying big elephant tears into her pillow. We asked what was wrong, but we knew what it likely was, and we were right – she missed her big brother. We’d just dropped him off for his first year of college the day before and she was super sad about not having him around on her first day of school.
I totally get how she feels. When my good friend, Aileen, texted me this week to ask me how I’m feeling, I said, “Just between friends — all I can think to explain how I feel is, – this blows!” I’m excited for him, I’m slightly heartbroken for me.
Sending one off is not easy, and being the momma of yet three more kids still very much in our home and also facing this transition, my role is not just letting go – it’s helping them process through letting go, yet holding on to the fact that we will always be family, no matter what season we are in. I ask often how they are feeling. I respond in ways I know are healing and comforting and helpful, steering them to see this is a positive change, even though it’s not easy.
As I sat with Kylie on her bed that evening I came up with a plan I’ve since rolled out to the rest of the family. I told her it is normal to miss her big brother. She can call and text him anytime. Also, I said, “each time he crosses your mind and you think of how much you miss him, why don’t you say a little prayer for him. It can be one sentence, it can be more, just whatever is on your heart.” I explained prayer connects our hearts with those we pray for, and our prayers are like arrows aimed at them that God can use to bless and touch their lives in amazing ways.
As I look at Russel’s first few days on campus I’m already seeing the fruit of all the prayers prayed for him. David and I marvel at the number of “coincidences” that have taken place since he stepped on the University of Houston campus just 5 days ago. Of course we know we don’t really believe in coincidences. I call them God incidences. God is up to something big in that boy’s life and it’s such a joy to watch it unfold even as we grieve and let go of our season of having him in our home, under our roof, day in and day out. Our daily prayers keep him covered and continue to open the door for God to move.
As I looked at other back to school pictures on Facebook and instagram this week, I have so loved seeing other friends kids heading out to their first days of school. Many precious friends little ones are just entering kindergarten. That’s the first big milestone that often brings us mom’s to tears. I remember each of my kids going like it was yesterday. Wait, wasn’t it just yesterday? Now it’s hard to believe I have a fourth grader, seventh grader, ninth grader and a college student! Time passes so quickly!
Yet the days can feel so long. I remember many days where I felt like the monotonous, Ground Hog Day like repetitiveness of motherhood would never end. I remember feeling like every day was the same – day in and day out – laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, naps, feeding — over and over again! I remember feeling like all I heard was, “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom…” And I would have given anything for a few quiet minutes to myself. Yes we need to pamper ourselves through every stage and take breaks so we don’t lose our sanity, or good hygiene.. but we also have to realize at every stage this too shall pass.. and so will time… and before we know it it’s time to send them out. To those mom’s still in these early stages, I say – savor every moment.
And so for you precious mom’s and dad’s who are reading this blog with little ones at home – I hope my reflections inspire you to savor these moments, keep your children covered in prayer, teach your family to pray for one another, and remember in the tough moments, this too shall pass!
Let’s pray, ” Lord thank you for the precious children you have entrusted to our care. Help us to savor every day and love them like you love them and raise them to be the world changers you created them to be. Thank you for daily grace, like manna, to sustain me and give me just what I need to see each moment through. Grant me wisdom that I need to raise them well. In Jesus name, amen.”