Friday, July 13, 2012

Motherhood and letting go

My children are not mine. They are on loan to me by God. I get to care for them today, and nothing after today has been promised to me. Worse yet, I have no right to complain about this. I am not entitled to them, or anyone else I love for that matter. They are mine to love, and someday, to let go.

This weekend, I remember one very difficult letting-go.
I remember when we said goodbye, and how we didn't really know what kind of goodbye we were saying.


Would Aggie be coming home with us? The same Aggie we took? A helped Aggie? A brain-damaged Aggie? Would we come back with good news and hope, or devastating news and last resorts?



They took our smiling child to that room where the real work would begin. I could have counted that moment as my workout for the day: the wrestling I did inside myself in order to let her go. There was a part of me that wanted to grab the gurney, pull her away from those people with needles and drills, and keep her safe with me. No you may not do those awful things to my baby! But she was not safe with me either, and so I let her go. (Weak and Loved A Mother-Daughter Love Story)




When I think of that moment of "letting" them take her to surgery, it reminds me also of that day I "let" my husband get on a plane and go to war.  (As if I had any choices in these matters.)

These are the moments when I see that I do not possess the people I love, that I do not get to demand another day with them.

To a lesser extent, this is the same thing that I feel whenever they go out from under the umbrella of my (supposed) protection:

Summer camp.
Play dates.
Sickness that won't go away.
Visits to Grandma and grandpa's.
Kindergarten.
 
These letting-gos are practice. They force our eyes open, and we see our smallness, the world's dangers, and the gulf between here and eternity.  They move us to fear, and to prayer.


God, take good care of my baby.



How do you deal with times of letting-go, little or big?

25 comments:

  1. True in every sense of the word.. Love!

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    1. Thanks Melissa. A hard truth, but true.

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  2. This is so beautiful- and such a good reminder to all parents. Our children do not belong to us-they are the Lord's. We are not promised another day, another hour, O Lord let us treasure them and not take for granted the rich blessing that is ours!
    Thank you for this lovely, heartfelt post.
    God bless you!

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    1. O Lord let us treasure them and not take for granted the rich blessing that is ours!

      AMEN.

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    1. Sigh...letting them go. GO???? As in NOT holding on to them and wrapping them in bubble wrap as they learn to ride a bike? GO...as in letting them take that same bicycle out about town??? I So hear what you are saying about letting them go. From the minor things like that above or the trip through the hospital wing to the "testing" area to see exactly what, if anything, is wrong with them physically. I recall the same question begin asked of our dear friends as their son was diagnosed (and finally succumbed to)a neuroblastoma cancerous tumor. The dad was sharing how they had to do an MRI or something like that and they asked him to hold the babies arms up over his head as he lay there for the test. the dad shared how at that moment, in what could have been utter despair, he knew exactly how Abraham felt as he was asked to lay his son on the altar. God is so merciful and good and kind...yet I struggle daily with trusting my kids to Him fully. I leave them at the altar with one hand still holding on. Thank you for this reminder to really let the go...

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    2. Oh Donna... that is such a sad story. I completely relate except for that God gave Aggie back to us (for no reason at all other than his mercy.)

      "I leave them at the altar with one hand still holding on." Yes, you understand completely. In all these words about letting go that is exactly it- I will not pretend I have ever (Willingly) let them go without a hand on them. The night of Aggie's surgery I felt the struggling in saying "Thy Will be done" and not really meaning it... instead my prayer was basically,

      "I know she's Yours, Lord, but please don't take her."

      And yet, He had mercy on my divided heart.

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  4. do I seriously cry at every post you write? I think you hit many of my weak points....and help open me up...bless you...

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    1. LOL there I go again making people cry! I used to have to punch people to get the job done... (OK i'm kidding. Only my little sister.)

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  5. What a relief it is to have a redeemer in whom we can trust.
    This post made me curious so I did a little "blog stalking", praise the Lord that your daughter is well!

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    1. She is well and thriving... by His mercy and for no other reason :)

      in case you didn't see this:
      How's Aggie:
      http://www.weakandloved.com/p/hows-aggie.html

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  6. Wow! Love your attitude... it's amazing. This post reminds me of a quote which Jim Elliot made:

    "He is no fool
    who gives what he cannot keep
    to gain what he cannot lose".

    When we give to God (whether our time, talents... or even our precious loved ones), He gives us His peace which passes all understanding and human reasoning, plus He writes an amazing story in our lives which touches the lives of others (many of whom we may not know until we get to Heaven) for the glory of God.

    This is one such story!

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    1. Wendy, thank you so much for your kind words. He has had mercy on us, even in the midst of this trial, as well as after it. I pray that He uses our experience to encourage others- others, who are weak... and loved!

      I hope you get a chance to grab the whole story - the eBook is free starting tomorrow!

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  7. I can't imagine what your going through. But glad you found me and I found you. My issues now are with my mother and I do lean on prayer, though that just isn't always enough comfort. At least hopefully it helps with strength.

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    1. Sandra, I know what you mean about prayer. Sometimes prayer is just "WHY?!" and "HELP!"

      Keep on going to Your Father with open hands... may He give you strength for each day, each moment, and comfort in knowing you are loved in Christ.

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  8. On July 31st, my son's Birthday, I will not hand him a present, he will not blow out his candles, his girlfriend with not stop by and yell in the door...Hi Mrs. A., instead I will bring balloons to a gravesite with a weight attached to hold them in place...I still can't let go...maybe one day...just not yet...

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    1. oh Mrs. A I am so sorry.

      It will not always be this way. May God uphold you in your grief.

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    2. Some days he sustains me, but some days there isn't enough super glue in the world to hold me together...my God how I miss him, it's been 8 years and I forget what his hugs felt like, what I wouldn't give for one more of those...grief I have found is the hardest job a person will every have...no vacation days from it, no chance to call in sick to get away from it...I belong to a local Chapter of Compassionate Friends, they have held me up when I could not stand on my own, my husband and family have been through the journey with me and have surrounded me with their strength...sometimes I feel that I can't take another step on the "Grief" journey and other days I look back and see how many steps I've really taken...for some reason this week I've only been able to "sit on the bench" next to that road and wait until I have the strength to start traveling it again. You have a beautiful family..treasure each moment and grab as many hugs as you can. God Bless You...

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    3. I am so glad you are involved in a group for support. even with all the support in the world, it's still not easy though.

      Sitting on the bench is OK, friend.
      And if you need something to read while you are there, i strongly recommend this book:

      http://www.weakandloved.com/2012/03/book-recommended-problem-of-suffering.html

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  9. I pray that your princess is well on her road to a speedy recovery (if she's not already fully recovered). You are right. Letting go is a challenge BUT, when I stop to consider what letting go really means and who I'm releasing to I'm reminded I'm in good hands...when I let go I'm letting go to the Creator of the Universe. The One who holds the sun and the moon in the sky all while He keeps an eye on the sparrow. The One who sent His ONLY son to die so that we might live. When I remind myself who I am trusting with my life, my husband's life, my children's life and our futures then it reduces the weight of the burden and somehow I find strength and hope IN HIM.

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    1. Diana, she recovered faster than I would have ever believed- they discharged her after three days with NO activity restrictions! In fact, we just celebrated three years seizure free!
      God is good! He is good in health and in sickness- like you said, his hands are good :)

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  10. Oh, I needed this post today. My oldest son left for ten days with Grandma and Grandpa on a vacation to FL. How fun for him, how terrifying and difficult it was for me to let him go. He begins Kindergarten nine days after he comes home.

    I will hold my babies tight while I have them, and let them be free when it's time. However far away they may need to go, no matter how hard it is for me. Practice. I have never ever looked at it that way, but I will never look at it any differently than that again, thanks to your words of encouragement and the sharing of your story.
    God bless you and your family. :)

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    1. It is SO hard to share our babies with grandparents, isn't it :) I am sure your son had a wonderful time. And I am sure it was wonderful to get him home!

      Until the next practice,
      Emily

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  11. What an incredibly inspirational post. What an amazingly strong mother you are. What much needed perspective you just gave me. This story is so beautifully written, as is your heart. Thanks so much for sharing this.. I feel your love all the way in NYC. I'm now following you via the blog hop and am really looking forward to reading more of your posts. Wishing you and your family all the best. If you have a moment...please stop by my blog.

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    1. I will Monica! Thank you so much for coming by!
      Emily

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