Letting Go

Read:  “…I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’” Isaiah 41:13 (MSG)

Reflect: A friend and I loaded up camping gear, bikes, and our four elementary-aged kids and headed off for a weekend of fun.

My son was intent that he was going to learn to ride his bike without training wheels during this trip. So we practiced on the little stretch of gravel in front of our campsite until he had it down and was ready to try going around the loop. He took off and I ran along behind as he proudly pedaled and steered. It was going fine until he hit a slight downhill slope at the same time as the road forked. He panicked and rode straight into the bushes in the middle of the fork. As I pulled him out he was scared and angry but unhurt. I hugged him and then we talked about what landed him in the bushes and how to avoid it next time.

Letting go is hard. I knew that learning to ride his bike alone depended on it; it wouldn’t work if I held on and helped him avoid every obstacle. Now that he’s a man, I have to let go in different ways. He’s made some choices that have resulted in hard consequences. But like that day on the bike, we haven’t left him to climb out of the mess alone. We’ve loved him, offered our support and insight, and trusted God won’t let go and will guide him as he figures out how to move forward.

React: God is still there holding on to your kids as you let go. Spend some time talking to God about what you’re holding and where you need to let go. Allow him to guide you to what that looks like during the parenting season you’re in.

Pray: God, thank you for your constant, loving presence in our lives. Help us to trust you as you show us how to release things we aren’t meant to hold.