Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Mother's Heart

Having a broken foot has meant that my extremely independent 11 year old has had to rely on me again. Mostly these days, he doesn't need me to help him with mundane tasks such as getting dressed, having a shower, getting ready for school etc. He's very organised and he just gets on with it himself.

But coming home from the hospital with a cast on his leg and crutches last Saturday meant that he needed me again in a way that I'd forgotten about. Suddenly I was caring for three boys who needed my help, instead of two. I had to open doors for him, help him have a shower, find his clothes for him and even help him go up and down the stairs. It was a strange throwback for me and I spent the weekend fussing over him and trying not to do things he could do for himself. As the week has passed, he has become more confident and needed me less and less.

But on Tuesday when he went back to school, I was still in the 'fussing' mode and having spent the weekend watching over him and looking after him, I suddenly had to let him go again.

I was shocked at my emotional reaction to this. Letting go of our children is never easy but pushing them out of the door when you know they might struggle and will have to work out difficult things on their own is even harder. Who was going to open the doors for him? What if he fell over and couldn't get up? How would he cope with the stairs in the school? I had so many questions but as I said my goodbyes, I tried my hardest not show him the enormous lump in my throat.

My heart was heavy all day as I used all the self control I could muster to prevent myself from phoning the school to see how he was doing. I couldn't quite believe I was being so ridiculous.

And so another 'letting go' lesson is learnt in this Mother's heart. We try our best to prepare them for all that they will meet in life, but we can never fully prepare them. There will be a day when they have to make a difficult decision without us. Hard times will come for them when doors close in their faces and there is nobody there to open it again for them. Letting go is so very painful, but so necessary. I am so grateful that whilst I let go, Toby's Father in heaven never does. I can't hold him in my arms forever but he will always be in his Father's arms. He will have tough times, but with each difficulty he will learn a new aspect of God's faithfulness and goodness towards him.

May my Mother's heart be one that doesn't cling on tightly but sets my children free to go to whatever it is that awaits them, trusting in the faithfulness of their Father in heaven and joyfully watching their adventures.

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