E stayed downstairs at church without me for the first time in ages yesterday. AGES. This was nothing worth noting with the bigs, who happily strolled into their rooms and played, but with our youngest, it’s always been a struggle. So I sit beside Branden, more than a little anxious (although my little one was in good and capable hands) and listen to our pastor. Who begins to preach on Samuel…and that mom of his. He challenges us to be those kinds of mothers. I hold on to my piece of E’s nursery sticker and squirm.
Some of us have to look away from the glare of the Proverbs 31 woman and her super powers, but Hannah has me shielding my eyes a bit. She does something that sounds more challenging to my helicopter ways:
She lets go.
If you aren’t familiar, Hannah was a woman who was unable to conceive for many years. She poured her heart out to God in beautiful, broken, earnest prayer. She vowed that if God gave her a child, she would “give” that child to God. She did eventually birth to a son, Samuel, who grew to be a tremendous man of God, who helped restore faith and order to the Isrealites. He was a big deal, and in part because his mother made good on her word.
I imagine her, holding the baby she waited for through all the years. The grief turning to joy, gazing upon her sweet boy, memorizing every curve of his tiny face. She remembers her promise, and she keeps it. She gives this child to God.
He was always His, after all. So are mine. So are yours.
Do you forget this? I forget this. These precious kiddos are on loan from their Creator. He has a plan for them, because they are their own people, made in His image. It turns out that they not just little extensions of myself. Sigh. Despite all those apron strings my heart wants to tie in pretty, triple-knotted bows, one day I will have to let them go watch and them live out His plans for their lives. Can I do it with grace? I hope so. Even when it means they aren’t right beside me, even when it means they aren’t as safe as I’d like.
Our table leader at IF: this year was such an inspiration to me. She spoke proudly of her son, who has recently moved eight hours away to pursue his dreams with his new wife. She seemed to have peace. Did she want to be away from him? Of course not, but she wasn’t going to stand in his way. She gave him to God and is watching in eager anticipation to see what comes next. She embraced her season, and she let God embrace her through it.
I want to be like her; like Hannah. I want my children to grow up and know they can come to me and tell me what God is showing them and where He is leading them without the fear of my reaction. I want to rejoice and pray with them for their adventures. I want them to know I can be thrilled and so proud even while I miss them dearly. I want to be an example to them by allowing God to give me peace when I give the most precious things in my life over to Him, and by showing them that I trust in His promises.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
(Oh, and if you were wondering, E made it almost all of service. Progress!)