Guys, it happened.
Somehow, the child that is a baby is now going to school full-time. Someone explain this to me. It’s taken forever to get here, but also, wasn’t he just born?
Also, this little man is the one who spilled water on my computer, which is why there was no blog last week. Let’s all take a moment and pray that the lovely Apple people can restore it in Jesus’ name.
I couldn’t be mad at him for long, though. Look at him!
So today was the day. I sent my kindergartener on the bus with a little white hat with his name and classroom on it. I drove my preschooler to her own school and dropped her off and she didn’t look back.
This is big. It’s cute and small in comparison to life’s big changes, but every adorable transition is a giant step toward independence and away from dependence on me. I guess that’s the point, right? We hope that they will grow and make their own decisions and become smart, capable, lovable people.
To those of you who have already been here, you smile at us with the little kindergarteners and say, “Oh, this is just the beginning. Just wait.” And I know your experience in parenting has brought you to new places so much bigger than a ride on a yellow bus.
But every big, little, cute or not so cute transition leads us back to one huge reminder. The only thing that will keep us alive as parents.
They aren’t ours.
How kind is God? He creates His children so carefully and intricately within us and then allows us to raise them. He gives us these little lives to raise and nurture and discipline and love, when He’s their true dad. And only when I remember this massive truth can I survive any of the letting go moments.
As parents, we get a unique opportunity to learn about surrender. Everyone has the opportunity to trust God. Life has no shortage of moments to control, but kids bring about an entirely new need for Him. We have responsibilities, yeah. Like a lot of them. We are the ones to teach them about kindness, forgiveness, sharing, standing up for themselves and for others, cleaning up and working hard. We teach them manners and we give them opportunities to grow their gifts and talents. We discipline and teach them consequences and that love means following through. And the God of the universe has trusted us to do it.
But your awesome kid? They are God’s awesome kid first. While you work hard to figure out what on earth you’re supposed to say and do and not do, God’s Spirit is simultaneously working within you and within you. Teaching you both wisdom and grace at the same time. Teaching you humility and teaching them strength. You are not simply being guided by God as you figure this stuff out. Reminding you that you’re not alone feels almost watered down compared to the truth. The Spirit of God is speaking, breathing, guiding, walking with, behind, and ahead of you. You cannot escape His presence.
They are His. He’s a fierce Dad; a protector and an avenger. He is careful with them. He knows what they can take and what they can’t. And He knows what you can take, too.
So as we take every single big step, whether it’s the bus or senior year or a wedding or a grandchild, remember: Their Dad has them. And He has you. He holds you both tight but pushes you forward, too.
Go ahead and cry because the changes matter. Feel all the weight of every transition. Be a human being. And then I pray our posture would change to, “Wow. Thanks, God for sharing them with me.”
The world tell us that we are supposed to release them into the world. But they’re wrong. Our job is not to release them to the world. It’s to release them to God. Our job is not to get it right. Thank God, because we just can’t. Our job is to give them back. As often as we give our hearts back to Jesus, we’ve got to turn over our children to the One who loves them more than we could imagine.
They are amazing. They are smart, equipped, capable people because they have been created by a loving Dad. What an amazing partnership He’s offering to us.
So I’m in it with you today. Whether your baby is a few days old, or your baby is about to have their own baby – let’s open up our hands and our hearts to give back what has never truly belonged to us. The most precious thing that has ever been offered to us: God’s kids.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.”
[Proverbs 3:5-6 msg]