September 19, 2008
Letting Go
Leslie Nease

We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends.  From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our "Friday Friends."  So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend", Leslie Nease.

Today’s Truth
3 John 1:4 “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”  (NLT)

Friend to Friend
As I type this, my oldest daughter, Stephanie, is preparing to go off to college.  She leaves in a little over two weeks.  It is so bitter-sweet I can hardly stand it!  They say that once you have a child, you forever wear your heart on the outside of your body.  I can relate to that statement.

She made a decision a few months ago to stay home and go to a college close by.  I thought it was strange at the time because she had already picked out a great Christian University to attend that was about two hours away.  Of course, this change in her plans excited me as I was thrilled she would be near us!  However, she began to regret her decision after awhile and I saw her entire demeanor change. 

She was honest with me about three weeks ago and said she made the decision because she didn’t want me to be hurt if she left.  I never asked her to stay, but somehow I must have left the impression that I was going to fall apart the day she walked out the door!  I was devastated that I did that to her.

Now I was ready to let her go.  She is going to her original University choice and I couldn’t be happier for her.  Sure, I will miss her deeply but seeing her so miserable out of the will of God made me realize that I’d rather let her go than keep her here and have her walking in disobedience and misery.  Who am I to stand in the way of what God has for her?

I’m realizing as my children are all growing up that letting go is hard and exciting all at the same time.  Honestly, I think I’m at the place where I’m more excited for her than I am sad for me, but it’s been a tough year.  She’s not really my child anyway – she belongs to God.  He has plans for her that are so exciting and wonderful that I can’t help but be excited for her!  I’m so blessed to have her in my life and as long as I point her to Him, I’ve done my job well.

I still have three more children in the nest to nurture for now but it’s time for my Stephanie to try out those beautiful wings now.  Fly, baby!  Fly!

I’m reminded today of these lyrics from Find Your Wings by Mark Harris:

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings

It's not living if you don't reach for the sky
I'll have tears as you take off
But I'll cheer as you fly

Let’s Pray
Oh, Father!  You have given us such a gift in our precious children.  Thank You for allowing us to be used by You to help them grow.  Please give us grace as we raise them and inevitably, let them go.  Thank You for the fact that they are Your children and You love them even more than we do and that even though our job is to let them go, Your job is to hold on to them for dear life!  Please care for them, protect them and direct their steps. You are faithful!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

  • If you are in the process of letting go of a child, or maybe even if you have one coming up in the next couple of years, remember that they can tell when we are feeling sad about their departure. Why not ask God to give you the grace to let go joyfully? Our kids don’t want to hurt us and they need to know we are supporting them at this time in their lives.
  • God knows how much your heart hurts as you let go.  Take time to spend with Him and ask Him to show you scriptures that will encourage you and give you peace of mind.  
  • Always remember that God loves your children even more than you do!  Isn’t that a comfort to know?  Praise Him for that and continue to pray for them as they venture out into the plans He has for them.

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