College? Could it be that time already?

I have to admit, I feel a slight (um ok, massive) panic at the thought of my firstborn looking at colleges. I am NOT ready for this! The thought of filling out applications and visiting colleges (and picking one!) on top of a rigorous academic schedule is bad enough, but the thought of actually sending my kid out into this crazy world is another thing all together.

There is something precious about knowing that all of my kids are tucked safely in their beds. This, I know, can not last. All too soon I will have to let go. I will always be there for them, but by necessity it will be in a different way. They will be ready, and so, I must also be. Still, there is a part of me that struggles with letting go.

The other day I watched as my kids played together. Remember this, I thought, because the pages of life turn quickly and once this chapter ends it will never be quite the same again. The images before me blurred and I began to pray. “God, how can I let them go? I won’t be there to protect and guide them. What if they make bad decisions? What if they are in danger? Who will be there? God please watch over them. I am entrusting them to you. I can not always be there, but you God, you will never leave them.”

A shaky sigh escaped my mouth and I wiped a tear off my cheek. It was then that I heard a whisper to my heart, “Daughter, it was I who made them, who knew and loved them long before you did. I knew that you would sometimes be too harsh and sometimes too lenient. I knew that you would make mistakes. I saw all of your weaknesses and brokenness, and I placed them right into your hands. Don’t you see? It was I that entrusted them to you in the first place.”

And suddenly I saw.

They were not really mine at all, but His all along. Why He ever entrusted them to me I can not say, but I am infinitely grateful that He did . . . for a time. I know “that day” will come too soon. Tears will be shed and I will wish for more days that I can not have. It is then that I will remember that I am returning them into the hands of the Father, the One who entrusted them to me in the first place, which is far better than just letting go.

“The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil. He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your coming out and your going in from this time forth and forever.” Psalm 121: 5-8 (NASB)