This post is really a long time in coming. It is something I have been "feeling" for some time in this current season. I have watched my teens as they have changed before my very eyes. The frightening thing about it was that it was obvious. It wasn't as if I awoke one day and all of a sudden my preschoolers were high schoolers. I could see them and hear them blossoming, unfolding, developing...how else can I describe it? They went from shorter than me to taller than me, even towering over me. Their voices, (the boys) suddenly dropped what seemed 3 octaves.
Suddenly Katie was a beautiful young woman with all ages of males turning to look her way, when they weren't aware I was watching.
All too soon Justin was leaving with a courageous determination in his walk and on his face to confront the rigors of intense training on Parris Island.
My kids were growing older and I was sensing it, but somehow it caught me off guard. Here I was homeschooling my kids and somehow I was trying to keep a grip on this season, holding on for all I was worth. My "baby chicks" were young adults.
I kept talking to myself with reassuring conversations that I had done my job. I had beseeched God for His help in unveiling the truths of Faith, and the reality of a God who is real and alive and intimately desiring their relationships with Him. I had tried my best to live my faith out loud, though many a day it was poorly done, I'm sure.
Kurt and I have prayed over the salvation of our kids. We know that they have all accepted the Lord as their Savior because of the gospel and the faith they were taught for better or for worse by their mom and dad.
No matter how many times we floundered and fell and literally marred the true picture of God's love and grace as parents, we know that they are resting in the palm of God's hand. They are "rooted and grounded" in a biblical upbringing.
Now, I assure you that we are not naive enough to think that they will leave this haven where their faith was taught and nurtured, and not be tested. We know that they, like their parents before them, will leave home and go out to begin making and living out their own lives. We know that they will face their own unique trials, and sufferings and storms. We know that there may come a day where they question the faith of their childhood, the footings their parents laid down for them to build a foundation on.
I know that this will truly be a difficult thing to witness. It is always, always painful to see your child suffering and know that it is not your call to step in and give deliverance. Our watch is when they are under our roof, under our care, under our provision. When these "new adults" come under fire, stand face to face with their fears, battle their own spiritual giants on their own two feet, far be it for us as parents to interfere and rush in to save the day!!! God is using life's circumstances in their own crucible of testing to forge them, purify them and strengthen them.
We MUST release them to God. We must encourage them to leave and become independent of us and increasingly more accepting of their "own faith" through the Holy Spirit within them. It is not until the point of questioning their "mom and dad's faith" occurs in their lives, that they will "work it out, and name it as their own personal faith. It will not be truly REAL, until this changing of the guard takes place. We have guarded and protected their faith up to this point. Now they will be charged with the watch. It is their turn to feel the calling to stand and defend the very truths they must know and believe in. Even staking their very life on it.
"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil. 2:12)
We claim this verse for our Treasured Four as each one leaves home to pursue their own calling in this life. As they have always obeyed and respected us as their parents, we pray that our absence in their independent living will make way for God to be in that "place". He was ultimately the One they were submitting to all along. We hope that they will know this truth as they work out their own salvation and faith with a reverent fear for a God that they can personally call their own.
Those we hold nearest and dearest are the ones we most want to have the safety and peace of God, to never have to face hard times. Yet all the while we know that only in those times will they break out and come forth even stronger as they acknowledge that the faith of their generational fathers and grandfathers truly is the one and only saving and redeeming faith. It is the anchor which will hold them in their storms, and they will KNOW because they have conquered and lived to tell of it. They will have experienced the desperate helplessness on their own with nowhere to turn but towards the face of God, and He will be there waiting to reassure them, to reinforce His grace and power in their walk on this earth.
God give all parents strength as they turn loose, and watch the precious pieces of their hearts take flight!! May we have an unwavering resolve to trust Him for His best for our treasures. For really, they were never fully ours. They were only entrusted to us for a brief moment in time to love, to hold, and to cherish as a gift from the very hand of their Creator. May we have the fortitude to stand back, and pray God's ever watchful protection and covering over each of our adult children as they go out and stand on their own two feet. As they are walking the paths of "faith-challenging" steps in their own independent lives, may God continue the line of Christian believers and defenders through them.
I pray Kurt and I will cling to His promises and trust Him to do as He sees best for each one of them, to fit them for service for His kingdom.
We believe with all our hearts that He WILL. We believe that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. In turn, the prayers of parents saved by God's grace, committed in their hearts to living for Him will have their prayers attended to. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we would ask! God bless our children with all the spiritual blessings of Heaven.
May they stand true to the God who has brought them through their youth, saved them and named them His Own. And whatever season of questioning comes their way, may they come out stronger to fight the good fight, able to accomplish all the fantastic plans God has for them as they finish the race that lies before them.
Katie, Justin, Jonny, and Kameron,
We are here for you whatever this life brings.
May our love give you roots, and help you find your wings....
We love you.
Amen and Amen.