My wife and I vividly recall dropping our daughter off at a college over 1,000 miles away from our home. Before leaving we helped her get situated into her dorm room, which included numerous trips to Walmart. We gave her more hugs than we could count, and then we drove away.
For her, it was the beginning of an exciting four year adventure, which culminated when she graduated with a degree in elementary education. Along the way she met many new friends. She took mission trips over her spring breaks to Ecuador, Honduras, and Greece. She met the young man that became her husband. She learned, studied and slowly transformed from our little girl into a wonderful young woman, whom we are very proud of. From her perspective, it was a great adventure.
For my wife and I, the day we dropped her off was the beginning of a long, and sometimes painful process, of letting our children go. We started crying as drove away from the college and cried for the next 500 miles. When we returned to our home in New England, there was an empty place in our lives that our sweet girl used to fill each and every day. As the years went by, we adjusted to that empty place, but we never really grew to like it.
Then we did it again for each of our sons, and each time there was pain as we drove away. How did our children grow up so fast? Where did the years go? We are thankful all of our children are still living out the Christian values and faith we instilled in them, but often long for the years we watched them play hide and seek in the yard or walked them to their Sunday School class.
Those who still have little children in their home should enjoy each and every moment. Those who have teens at home should savor every moment with them, even when they act crazy and make dumb decisions. Those who have college students must pray for the Lord to keep those students close to Himself, living out the values that were instilled in them when they were little. Praying about that empty place in life helps too. Times flies by faster than it should and while we have our children near us we must teach them to love the Lord and to love other people. Then, as painful as it is, we must let them soar with wings of eagles to all the places the Lord will take them and anxiously await the arrival of grandchildren, so we can laugh and play again!
Lord, help us love our children and teach them well in all stages of their lives, then help us know how to let them go when it is time. Amen.
This devotional is from the book “Heavenly Mundane” by Dr. Terry W. Dorsett. Dr. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at: