It happens so slowly. Slow motion changes in time. Faded blips on the radar. A beginning of the freefall into letting go.
It looks like a baby’s first step, then a first word, and eventually your child is walking into Kindergarten. The beginning is a gentle tug of war between parents and child. A pulling away toward independence, but a stronger pull back by the parents. The journey of letting go, from here to there, happens so subtly that one day you wake up and the tug of war has now shifted in favor of your child.
While my sons were growing up, day to day routines consumed me. Their growing independence was lost on me as I worked to manage the necessities. I was lost in my life to the point that the growth from here to there was like jumping into a pool at the beginning of summer – feelings of shock, disbelief and a desire to get out as quick as I jumped in, assaulted me on all sides. Letting go of my sons had me kicking and screaming.
I wish I could reassure you young parents that you won’t wake up one day and see that your life has gone from zero to fifty in the blink of an eye. I want to tell you to enjoy each phase your child experiences from baby to adulthood. I look at my own journey and act surprised that my toddlers are now grown men. If I pause and let the snapshots of my sons flash through my mind, I can see the change on an intellectual level. But my heart is still waiting to catch up to what I know to be true of letting go.
I am learning that letting go is a normal part of moving forward. It does not happen over night and is a lifelong process. I want to stop you all here, because inside I am saying “but what about my heart?” God has the answer. As I try to analyze this shift from young sons to grown men, God gently leans in and says “I am still here. Let me walk this new normal with you.”
How will we recognize we are not in this alone? When the shock of letting go begins to wear off, what helps us to move forward?
This reminds me of the story from Luke 24- the road to Emmaus. It begins like this…
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
It took until dinner that night when they arrived in the village and invited the stranger to eat with them, that recognition finally came. Along the way, the two apostles were discussing the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection not realizing that the stranger accompanying them was Jesus. The blinders covered their eyes because their hearts were not open to receiving the gift that was right by their side.
This story illustrates my own story of letting go. Until I take off the blinders and open my heart to the journey God is taking me on, I am standing still while everyone else is moving. God is calling me to move forward. Remaining stagnant and oblivious is a choice that keeps the blinders on.
I have a lot of catching up to do. My little boys embraced a life of moving forward. As I watch them take flight, I can learn a thing or two.
- Letting go is an amazing chance to embrace new beginnings.
- It is hard for the moment, but the release takes us to a place of accepting God’s future.
- And letting go is normal, forward progress that we all experience.
Let us each walk our road to Emmaus with our eyes wide open and our hearts open and inviting. May God fill us with peace for the journey, hope for the future and grace to let go even when it is hard.
Click here to catch up on part one of the mini series on letting go.
Journeying with you all from here to there,
Linking up with these beautiful ladies!
and Dawn for Grace Moments
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