He turned seventeen a few weeks ago, but I still see and think of him as my little boy. Colleges are coming to visit him as he prepares to carry his football dreams into the next chapter of his life. His GPA is impressive, and he is preparing to take his college entrance exams. He knows how to do laundry, cook meals (even beyond the culinary skills required to make Ramen noodles), sew his clothes, change his oil and tires, and responsibly manage his money — and his work ethic is strong. To see God actively confirming his gifts is astounding to us. Preparing our children for life outside our home, whether it be for work, military, or college is often an emotionally painful season for mamas. This season of letting go of my middle child, my only son, has been particularly difficult.
THE BIG PICTURE
While raising him, I kept one steadfast goal in mind. I called it “the end game” because he has always been an athlete, and we always try to keep the big picture in mind. Our end game goal has always been to raise a godly man, husband and father. That’s it. The rest of whom God created and gifted our son to become is merely icing on the cake. The seasons of life that are on the horizon, as he enters adulthood, are the cherry on top of the sundae. My guidance and mentoring will never be complete as long as I live, but I am excited to see the direction in which God leads his life.
THE BACK STORY
Most of his life, I was a single mother. I have been a mama my whole adult life. This boy, who was once my little man is now 6’6″. From the day I learned that he was a boy, God placed the desires in my heart to do everything I could to break the devastating cycles within our family history of absent fathers and ungodly men. God has been so faithful to accomplish this in our life. Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” (NIV) A thousand generations! To be able to trust that God will be faithful to the 999 generations that follow us is my greatest joy.
TRUSTING WITH INTENTION
As we prepare to follow whatever God’s plan is for our son, we must firmly trust in three things:
GOD’S WILL FOR OUR SON’S LIFE | Which may mean accepting that his life looks different than the life we would have chosen for him.
GOD’S PROVISION | If we are intentionally seeking to live within His will, God promises to provide the way and the means.
THE FOUNDATION WE’VE BUILT | “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
All of my natural mama tendencies are still there. It’s silly to think I will ever stop worrying about whether he is hungry, sick, tired or sad. He is my child. “Will he need me?” “Can I make it to him quickly enough when he does?” The Lord’s truth and wisdom in this season keeps me grounded through all of my fears. Through all the ups and downs of this emotional rollercoaster, during this season of letting go, God has reassured me of His unfailing love, grace and mercy — for both myself and for my son. He is God’s child first. “Lord, I trust in you, and I place him in your hands to do your will” is my daily prayer. If I am trying to manage my son’s life instead of surrendering it to God’s will, then essentially I am not having faith that my prayers are being answered nor anticipating what God can and will do in his life.
PRAYING WITH INTENTION
Here are some prompts to help you intentionally pray for your child in the midst of this season of transition to adulthood:
I pray that you help them to be self-controlled and responsible in all relationships.
I pray that they respect authority and make wise choices.
I pray that they be caught when guilty so that they can experience consequences that will lead to better choices in the future.
I pray that you keep them protected from harmful people, negative influences and destructive environments. .
I pray that they be prevented from choosing the wrong mate and that they save themselves for the right one; pure until marriage.
I pray for their future spouse, that you would be actively working in their lives and giving them a desire for purity as well.
I pray for your clarity and guidance in every aspect of their life.
I pray that they have eyes to focus on you and your will each day; hearts that desire to live out your will; and minds that will not be tempted to follow the world.
I pray they will give all the glory to you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen
When we, as women and mothers, can get to a place of pure surrender to Christ, the possibilities are endless for our children. We can choose to live intentionally each day, leaning into God’s truth, mercy and grace in every situation, all the while understanding that none of us are meant to be perfect.
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Such a beautiful and well written piece! I don’t think we ever stop being “mom”, but learning to trust that God can and WILL fill all of our gaps as parents is such an incredibly freeing thing! Thank you for your wisdom Melissa, you are truly a gift!
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. As a mom of an adult, I can truly say that our role as “mom” is always evolving. To now be my adult daughter’s “best friend” makes all the difficult years worth it.
My children are still young, but often think ahead to the time when they will be looking at their adulthood squarely in the face. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t scare me. There is so much wisdom here. The reminder to be intentional with the fleeting time that they are in our care, to not let our own desires get in the way of Gods plan for our children’s life, even the ways to pray for them. This is so a good reminder of why the work I’m doing now is so important. Thank you Melissa, for this beautiful encouragement!! It truly touched my heart.
I truly wished I had listened to the wiser women in my life in regards to soaking up the time as a stay-at-home mom. It is so valuable and important. It is also the hardest “job” I have ever had! You are never off as a mom.
I value you friend, and I thank you for the kind words and encouragement.
Beautiful and well said. And lived. When our kids were little I thought it challenging enough. Much much harder trusting God when they are older!(; I try not to scare my younger friends with that fact. For it is then that my trust in God is deepened and shone for what it is and what it is not, and He takes me further down the road of He only is my God in Whom I will know and trust and thank. Parenting mostly is for this purpose: knowing and relating to God better.
Allowing our children to see how we trust God and walk closely to God in times of heartache or struggle is doing so much good for their relationships with Christ!
Thank you for reading this and for your kind mama heart ❤️