It had been a normal Saturday with my husband and two year old son, John. We had plans to enjoy the morning at the lake. We parked our car and walked to the bridge where the geese and ducks were. The setting and serenity were perfect. My son stuck close to us as we showed him the beauty of God’s creation. Bicyclers flew by us and other runners on the bridge. Out of nowhere, my son darts out in the middle of the path just as a bicycler is heading straight for him. He screams, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Get out of the way!” My heart stopped. My husband ran to John and brought him back to his side.
On our way home, I burst into tears and told my husband my fears. Could I trust God to protect John in the future? I mean, shouldn’t I help God out and do what is responsible? My heart wrestled. What seemed most responsible is to not return to the lake. It is too dangerous! My insides were being seized by fear. And it was a scary place to be.
John is now 6 1/2 years old. He begins first grade in just a few weeks and will walk down new hallways of his brand new school in a new town. I have reflected on that experience at the lake a few times as I think about how we will soon release him into “all day” school. Kindergarten was just half a day in his old school. We are also reaching a milestone in that his formative years are now over.
Naturally, I’m experiencing different emotions of excitement and nervousness. Will he like school? Will he make good friends? Will his teacher love him well? Will he be able to get through the day without a nap? I’m excited that he will get to experience the things that I loved about elementary school. I know he is ready for the structure, challenge, and new friendships. We have prayed hard about this decision and prayers for his emotional and physical protection are always on my heart.
Learning to release our children to the Lord is yes, learned. God takes us through situations and trials to remind us that our children are His, from the moment of their first cry until the appointed time that Jesus calls them home. And as much as we try to control and place a hedge of protection around them, ultimately it is God who is in sovereign over their life.
This truth has given me great comfort that I can confidently, regularly, and prayerfully allow the Lord to direct us as we approach a new chapter that we aren’t quite familiar with yet. I can be confident that God has led us where we are today and has placed my family exactly where we need to be.
He knows the plans He has for my children and where they will be ten years from now. He knows their needs better than I do. Whatever challenges come our way – and they are sure to come – the Lord will go before us and be our help.
If you’re inclination is to fear, worry, and have anxiety, you’re not alone. Confess it to the Lord and to those who are involved in your life. Continue to give your children over to him. Remember that it is a daily discipline to trust. You will be surprised at how much peace and freedom there is in letting the Lord have control.