“Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.” (I Samuel 3: 7-9, NIV)
I am a mother… after waiting, hoping and praying for years. So maybe that explains the intensity of my love for my three kids, but it gives me no excuse to hold them back.
I try to restrain them from growing up. I want to keep them near, always. I confess this right now.
Yet, God reminds me over and over to let them go because they have a purpose and must fly free.
He clearly told me: “I love your children more than you do, so loosen your clenched grip.” This firm yet tender admonishment doubled me over with shuddering sobs, but I listened.
Loosen the grip. Trust God.
High school graduation approached for my oldest. The search for his destiny looked like it would lead him far away.
I shed tears.
So many tears – it seemed like I filled buckets. This time, God reminded me that my children are like Samuel of the Bible who heard the voice of God directly, but ran to Eli, his priest-guardian, and received this response: “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” (I Samuel 3:8)
Direct them to God.
My nineteen-year-old was baptized this summer while on a youth retreat, without his father or me present. He had always wanted to take this profound step in “real” water. How could we hold him back when he’s destined to live with God in the ocean waves of life without our supervision?
We saw the video of Luke’s baptism. He was laughing with joy.
Keep the babies close, nurture the little ones.
Train them as they grow, then let them fly.
Be there for them, always, no matter what.