Monday, September 21, 2009

She is His.

My heart is breaking. Transition is taking place. Change is happening and I don't like it at all. I told the Lord she was His long ago, even reminded Him on occasion about our deal when she annoyed and irritated me. This day seemed so far off. Tucking her into bed, reading her stories, watching her dimples flash with joy over the simplest of things. A giggle. A word. A memory. My precious, precious child.

My oldest is moving out on her own. At almost eighteen years old, she is too much like her mother. Now in college, she wants to experience everything, taste and see it all. I have done my best to hold her back, and my not-so-best to hold her back.

She leaves happy, on a good note. Her father and I have helped her gather up belongings and will lovingly place her bed and dresser in her new home. But still the questions haunt me.

Have I done enough? Taught her enough? Encouraged her enough? Loved her enough?

I'm counting the days and hours before a mother's death sentence... letting go. I look into her beautiful blue eyes and see a desire to step out from under the confines of a home now keeping her, smothering her, with too many rules. She doesn't understand. She doesn't know what lies beyond the door. I want to keep her from it. But I can't.

"Every good mother, sooner or later, must understand she is denied ownership; she is merely granted stewardship." T.D.Jakes

Her mission soon begins. Mission: a group or persons sent to a foreign country to conduct negotiations and establish relations. She will be stepping out into the world where I pray she will make a difference for Him. "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth." Psalm 127:4 Like those arrows, she is meant to soar.

But, does she truly know what I know about her? She is gifted. Does she see in herself what I see in her - opportunities beyond her wildest dreams.

Only a few miles away in a simple cottage, enjoying the freedom she craves. Still close enough to stop by and raid the refrigerator, do her laundry, and remind me once again she is no longer mine.

She is His.

"...I have called you by your name; You are Mine." Isaiah 43:1


a portland granny said...

Oh my! That is a huge step. Do I take it she is not living on a campus, but rather in a dwelling of her own choosing? Letting them go is the hardest thing you will ever do...and believe me when I tell you, that you will spend hours on your knees pouring out your concerns, your praises, and your thoughts before the Lord.

My guess is that it won't last too long and she will want or need to come home for one reason or another.

I'm thinking of you as you face this huge chapter in your life.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I feel the ache in your words, friend, and I understand a portion of what you're feeling. No one prepares a heart for this kind of kick in the gut. In my book, no experience compares that of a parenting "letting go"--whether it be the first day of school, a college transition, a prodigal wandering, or a walk to the grave. It is, perhaps, the closest we'll ever come to understanding how much our Father loves us.

This is the way of pilgrimage. I've recently done some writing on the topic and may post something soon, but for now, please know that what is forged in this season (that somewhere down the road moment) will outweigh the kick you now feel. I'm trusting God for the same.

I love you, Joanne, and I am so thankful for the blessings that have come into my life because of your friendship. If you ever need to talk, you know the number.


Susan said...

She is ready, you have done a wonderful job! Letting go is so hard, but what a wonderful foundation you have given her.

She ultimately belongs to our Heavenly Father and she knows that which is one step ahead of a lot of teens these days.

Well have raised such a responsible, independent, young woman! She will be nearby for a quick hug...find the blessing in that.


Mari said...

Oh, Joanne, I know those feelings! Sh is doing exactly what you raised her to do but it's so hard to let go.
I know that the things you have taught her are still in her heart and she'll do great. And - although there will probably be some tears, you'll do great too! You have a good start because you know whose hands she is really in.

Karen said...

These words were so sweet and brought back memories of watching my sons leave...I thought my heart would break, but it ended up growing as my children and I moved into that season of our lives...oh, and those questions you are asking yourself? The answer is...yes, by His grace....

Lynnette Kraft said...

Whoa Joanne - you sure know how to stir a heart! Seriously, having a 19 year old son, I can feel your pain. He's not leaving for a while yet - he may be here a few years because he has big career plans (in Hollywood), so he's not feeling quite like going that far at 19, ha! But I can see the day approaching and it doesn't sound fun at all.

I often say, I'll just deal with things when they come and I won't fret over them beforehand, but it's so hard sometimes - especially when you're kind of sentimental to begin with.

Well friend, God's peace be with you. Perhaps you'll be okay once it actually all happens. In the meantime, know that I just prayed for you.


Tea With Tiffany said...

I'm not there yet, but soon enough. I feel the release slowing taking place. It's a hard and good thing to release our kids in His hands. I trust You've given her your heart. She knows you love her. Well done, friend.

You will always be her mom. Always, whether she is in home or out.

Love you.

Shay said...

She will be in good hands...HIS hands! =-) Your a great mom.

Cindy said...

Marvelous, you have such a great insight...althought you're not feeling good. But, you do know that this is such an exciting time in her life. A time that she'll look back on and think, "gosh, that was so GREAT!". Blessings and hugs to you. And oh! the T.D. Jakes quote...slayed me.

Cindy said...

What an encourager you are! She will do just fine!

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Dear Joanne,
My youngest just left for college, so I totally identify with you. I wonder how the Father felt when His Son left His heavenly home to live and to die for us.
Your daughter will rise up and call you blessed, you Proverbs 31 mom.
Love you,

Elizabeth M Thompson said...

Precious friend, it feels like an ending, but it is a beginning. Your sweet girl will take all the training and the love you have poured into her and build a life with it. She is a smart young woman. She will make good choices and learn from some not-so-great ones along the way.

Believe God to lead her and guide her every step of the way. And know that you will not be alone in your prayers for her. (((hugs)))

Angie said...

I've thought about you, called your name to Him who knows this child well and had my sister and mother praying as well.

You've done your part in the we will pray that she will lean back on, rely on, hope in and trust in that teaching. She will face trials---she will have circumstances that you would rather just swish away with a mop or broom, but the real deal is this--God will give you strength to release (0n a daily basis) and He will give her courage to step (on a daily basis). He will TEACH her HIS ways---in a way that she will SEE that it is HIM who has saved her and gave her the opportunity for life eternal! She will grow---although not overnight---but I have faith that not too far from this day, you will look back (when the next child steps on the door mat to leave) and see how far God has brought you and Paul. For He will you know. Bring you far and teach you much.

I can say all of that because I've been there. 7 years of praying to bring about peace and Life for my child. 7 years were not wasted...for God taught me so much about HIS love for me.

Girl, I love you and you know---beyond doubt, when you call me---I will call HIM.

Denise said...

I will be praying for you, and your precious daughter sweetie.

LisaShaw said...

"She is His" indeed and as such she is in the Hands of THE Perfect GOD who is ordering her steps. His protection is about her. You're a good Mom. Anyone can see that through your incredible love for your children. She will do MORE than well.

Love ya.

Kristen said...

Joanne, this is absolutely beautiful. I am passing this on to a friend who is really struggling with her daughter going to college.

God bless you so much!


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