Those were the sentiments of my friend as she lamented over her feelings about taking her sixteen year old to get his driver’s license.
As her words spilled from her lips, a flood of memories drenched my brain.
Terrifying flashbacks of teaching my own boys how to drive.
My oldest got the accelerator and brake pedal mixed up way too often for my comfort level. It gave new meaning to the phrase, near death experience, every time I got in the car with him.
My youngest son constantly veered to the right causing me to lean toward the left in some vain attempt at keeping the car from taking out every mailbox on the right side of the street.
Once my boys got their license I no longer had control of where they were going, who they were with, or picking up, and I couldn’t guarantee when they’d be home (even if they had a curfew).
The only thing I could guarantee is that every time the wheels rolled out of the driveway I’d be down on my knees praying to Jesus like He was coming back tomorrow.
Giving them the car keys felt like pushing them out of an airplane at 12,000 feet, without a parachute. An airplane in which they were more than willing to be pushed out, I might add.
Yep, those were scary times.
But those times drove me to depend less on me and more on God.
Raising children will do that.
It’s like watching the tide roll in and out, in and out. Each time the water comes in, it goes out a little farther, until the waves seem like they’ve departed the shore and come in no more.
It’s the ebb and flow of the letting go.
It’s in those growing-up years when our trust deepens and our faith strengthens.
Some moms think this ebb and flow is a sad thing, but I think it’s a good thing.
A God thing.
Because each struggle for independence brings with it a greater dependence on God.
For me, when the tide finally went out more than it came in, I began to appreciate all the struggle and drama that came with letting go of bad hairstyles, and giving up car keys.
And now with both boys grown and married, I can rest in knowing my job is done, because… God’s isn’t.
All the years of battle brought faith in God’s assurance.
And His assurance is this, that He will finish the work he already started in my boys as He promised in Philippians 1:6,
“Being confident of this, he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” NIV
And how can I, as a mom, desire any more than that?
Dear Gracious Heavenly Father, being a mom is hard, exhausting and rewarding all at the same time. Each time we let go a little more, it’s scary. It’s a test of our faith, and a belief in Your strength. Help us to remember that You love our children so much more than we could ever love them because they first belonged to You. Thank you for walking through this journey with us and for never ever leaving us along the way. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
With a love and appreciation for mamas everywhere,