“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” (Psalm 31.14)
Last week our oldest son Terrell began a semester abroad in France. Yes, I am thrilled for him, but I had to say good-bye, again. As he moved through the line toward the security scanner, I inched my way forward on the other side of the rope, at a distance. Terrell would glance over and smile at me, patiently understanding my need for nearness. Then he gave us a final wave and was gone. And, yes, I cried – again. (Hopefully, this is my last teary blog for a while!)
Until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t allowed myself to dwell on the fact that he would be in another COUNTRY for almost 4 months…REALLY on his own. Only one truth gave me peace: God is with him. Believing this, I knew I didn’t need to be.
It’s funny; the past few weeks I’ve had a recurring memory of Terrell’s first day of elementary school. It was a new school for him, I only knew one parent in his class, and parents had to let their child out at the school entrance. So, I pulled up to the school; told him I loved him for the umpteenth time; a teacher opened his car door; and Terrell walked into the school. I followed the cars around the circle, pulled over into a parking place and cried.
It was the same feeling I felt at the airport…15 years later: He’s on his own.
We experience this a lot as moms, don’t we? Our child goes to a new friend’s house, starts a new activity, goes to a new school, moves to a new town… We have a choice. We can worry or we can pray. We can fear the unknown or we can trust God.
Every time I begin to worry, I try to remember to turn my worry into a prayer. Sometimes I know what to pray and sometimes I ask God to show me what to pray. Then I pray for myself, asking the Lord to grow my faith and my trust in Him.
“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust…” (Psalm 40.4)
Teresa, I love reading your blogs. They are always so relative to what I am going through with my own children. I am not surprised by that though! I just wish you had started this 21 years ago! I have shared your blog with Susan and my sister in laws and they love it as well. My sister in laws still have young children.
What an awesome opportunity for Terrell! I will remember you both in my prayers.
Your words are so appropriate for me as my oldest child left for his freshman year of college a few weeks ago. I think I've worried and fretted about him as much since then as I did when he was in preschool and when he first started driving! This week I am going to practice the discipline you suggested of turning concern into a prayer. That is definitely a more productive use of my energy!
Thank you for this post.
I felt the same way when my twin sons were seniors and was depressed the whole year. My husband kept downplaying the whole thing which I found annoying. The day they went to college was the worst and they were so excited! We got in the car after leaving them and I was getting ready to have a good long, sad, cry when I was flabbergasted to hear wracking sobs coming from the driver's seat. My husband was weeping and I was open mouthed shocked so had to “buck-up” for my daughter's sake, and “downplay” the whole thing. We have since laughed many times about the day that started the change of the rest of our lives. Our children left and aged parents all came back to live close. It was the end of being young parents. Now they are all married, 2 of our parent have gone on to heaven and we are enjoying the sigh of a quiet house. We love having time to ourselves and LOVE looking forward to the loud, fun grandparenting moments!! Each stage is all too brief….
I worry all the time… But then I know, as you do, that God is with my boys always.
Henley on the Horn says
We will be praying for you as Terrell explores France. He will remember this opportunity, and you are right; God is with him! I spent 2 months in France alone one summer in college & still delight in the memories!