In a small group study I was doing recently, one of the questions was this:

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

My response:

My kids will be 27 and 25. I will be 53. I may be a grandmother. I have to go throw up now.

Interesting that when I was asked to think about my future, my first thought was in relation to my children. I think that’s a mom thing or a girl thing.

And though I know we have a future and a hope as women who follow Jesus, it made me sad to think about ten years from now. Because ten years from now, my kids will be firmly on their own, out in the world, not living under my roof. Heck, five years from now, my kids will more than likely both be away at college.

And there’s something about Januarys that make me sit with the passage of time and both throw me a bit and steel me for the year to come, with all its unseen changes and twists.

We do not know where we will be in ten years. We do not know where we will be in five years. We do not know where we will be in one year. We do not know, really, where we will be tomorrow. And therefore, we do not know where our children will be.

This can be both frightening and freeing.

Frightening because as mothers, I think sometimes, we want to guarantee a harm-free future for our children whom we love so much. We want joy. We want fulfillment. We want good choices. We want good spouses. We want good health. We want no accidents, no pain, no sin or evil to befall them.

And yet, we have no control over this. Not even one ounce. And that, as mothers, can terrify us.

But freeing because as mothers, I think sometimes we worry that we have irrevocably messed up our children. That their college funds will instead be siphoned off for therapy. That our choices will dictate their choices. That our sin will be passed down one generation to another. That our relational suicides will end in their relational homicides. That addictions and abuse and missteps will send our children careening down dark life paths that bring one disaster after another.

And yet, we have no control over this. Not even one ounce. And that, as mothers, should calm us.

Our times are not in our hands. Therefore, our children’s times are not either.

However, we are all in the strong hands of God, with a promise to never, ever be left or abandoned, to always and forever be loved completely.

Rest, dear ones. It’s all going to be okay.

(c) Elisabeth K. Corcoran, 2014

Elisabeth is mom to Sara (17) and Jack (15-1/2). She loves spending time with her kids, her friends, reading and writing. She is the author of Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage, At the Corner of Broken & Love; One Girl, Third World; He Is Just That Into You; In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart; and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul. All these books can be purchased on Amazon.com. Visit her website here.

If you are in a difficult marriage or find yourself going through a difficult divorce, I have created two private groups on Facebook that I would like to invite you to. Simply email me at elisabethkcorcoran@gmail.com for more information.

Elisabeth is a proud Member of Redbud Writer's Guild and has been featured on Moody’s In the Market with Janet Parshall, This is the Day with Nancy Turner, and Midday Connection with Anita Lustrea.

Publication date: January 30, 2014