Holding on and letting go
My wife and I arrived at our second pastoral assignment with much fanfare. Such was not the case because we were what the church was long anticipating; rather, it was because it had been a long time since that church had a youthful pastoral family. And the star attraction was our three-month-old daughter.
She became everyone’s little sweetheart; and what a relief that was for my wife, because there were many people willing to assist her during Sabbath worships and Wednesday night prayer meetings.
On a Sabbath afternoon after worship services had ended, I was holding Whitney in my arms; at which time a grandmother in the church said to me, “Hold on to her as long as you can; because before you know it, she’ll be grown.” Those words spoke to what seemed a distant future; but now—24 years later—I more and more realize how true her words were.
Now, my daughter is preparing to leave for medical school. She’ll be on her own, making her own decisions, and taking the next step in creating her future. She won’t be coming home every night like I’ve grown accustomed to her doing. Although my wife and I have raised her for this moment, we still don’t know what letting go will actually look and feel like. We hope we have instilled within her the tools she needs to succeed socially, mentally, and spiritually.
There are many pastoral families on both ends of the spectrum—either starting families or enjoying their grandchildren. But there are many more who stand at the fulcrum of that existence—old enough to remember their children as babies, and young enough to not know what it’s like to be grandparents. We’re at that point in time where we pray we have prepared our children well enough to face the challenges that life will throw at them.
“LORD, grant our children wisdom as they move forward. More so, grant us wisdom to raise them in the way You want them to live.”
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