It happened. I helped my daughter, a recent college graduate, move in to her apartment two hours from home so she could start working her first career job. My, how time flies. My, how God provided. And, oh my, how many of my worries throughout her life were unnecessary - and still are.

My daughter, now 21, hates when I worry. Not only because she's now an adult and has to keep reminding me that she's perfectly capable of doing things on her own. But also because she doesn't want to have to worry about me worrying.

And I'm pretty sure God hates my worrying too.

God's Word tells us "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done" (Philippians 4:6, NLT). And what happens when we follow God's instruction to pray, instead of worry? Verse 7 tells us: "Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

I've recently come to see how many of my fears and worries, throughout my daughter's childhood and now into her adulthood, were unfounded because I know and love a trustworthy God. Because God hears our prayers and answers them according to his infinite knowledge about what's best for our children, we don't need to waste our time worrying. Praying? Of course. But worrying? Never.

Let me encourage your heart with five things you and I never need to worry about as a mom:

1. Your Child's Friendships - I used to worry about my daughter making friends when she started school. As an only child, Dana wasn't "outgoing" when it came to initiating friendships. Yet the same God who helped me extend and respond to others and form lifelong friendships while I was in elementary school did the same for her, in spite of what I saw as timidity or weaknesses on her part. While I have constantly prayed that my daughter would find and choose friends who would be a positive influence on her, spiritually, she had some close friends I wouldn't have chosen for her. But, Dana ended up having a positive impact on them and leading them to a better understanding of Who God is. He wanted his best - for her and her friend - rather than what I considered "best."

2. Your Child's Spouse - I also worried about my daughter finding Mr. Right. First of all, I felt guilt for not praying for her spouse from the time she was born. (I heard a friend of mine say she had been doing that for her daughter and that made me feel like a total loser of a mom for having never thought about my daughter's marital status until that conversation. I worried that maybe her soul mate wouldn't be as "complete" since I'd only started praying for him, and sporadically at best, after Dana was already 7 years old.) Then, I feared that Dana's chances of meeting a husband would decrease substantially once she graduated from college. Yet, in my own life, meeting my husband had nothing to do with where I went to college and whom I met there. But it had everything to do with a God who engineered the circumstances and the relationships in our lives through whom my husband and I met. If God was sovereign over the details of when and how I met my husband, certainly he is sovereign over the details of my daughter finding her spouse, as well. 

3. Your Child's Choices - God was the perfect parent, but Adam and Eve still sinned. So even when you are doing all you can to guide your children spiritually, they will still make choices of their own. At times those choices won't be the best ones. But that's how they learn and grow through their mistakes. And that's when we trust that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). Instead of worrying about your children's poor or less than best choices, pray for their strength and wisdom to discern God's will over their own (or someone else's) and find ways to encourage them, but not pressure them through verbalizing your worries or concerns.