Today’s post is a devotional I wrote many years ago when my children where in public school. I remember it like yesterday, I was making preparations to send my oldest to 2nd grade, my second oldest to Kindergarten and my oldest daughter to pre-k. Down the years I have many times over been reunited with the familiar ache and pain. This year it visits me deeper than ever before, as I prepare to see my oldest son now 18 start his first day of college tomorrow. Where has the time gone, how did it escape so rapidly. Was it really only yesterday I walked him into his first classroom dressed in his new school clothes, his brand new backpack filled to the brim with his shiny new school supplies?
As I sat down at my desk to do some work, I felt it once again, that familiar ache that had been plaguing me recently. It started a few nights ago as I looked in on my sleeping children and my thoughts drifted to preparing them to return to school. I sighed slowly at the thought of
sending three children out of the door this year. As I touched each one and said a prayer over them, I felt it. At first it was so quick and fleeting that I almost missed it, then suddenly it hit me again, this time with such a sharpness that I almost gasped. What was it I wondered? It seemed so vaguely familiar yet so fresh and acute.
As I stood in the still quiet darkness, I remembered. I knew what it was, and just as it had come in times past, with a sharp biting twofold edge it had returned again. I closed my eyes and remembered the first time I had encountered this bittersweet pain. It was almost 7 years ago when my first son began to coo and crawl and do all the delightful things that babies do.
I watched him in amazement, brimming with joy and pride then I felt it, a sharp biting ache that bit to the very core of my being. It was the painful ache of watching my baby grow. I let out a silent gasp as I thought, my baby is growing so fast, it seemed like only yesterday that I had given birth to him, where did the time go. As time went on I would encounter this familiar pang on several more occasions, his first step, his first birthday his first day of school.
With each of my children I have experienced in a new way what I have come to know as growing pains. Everywhere you go, you hear people say, “enjoy these times they go so fast.” There is much truth in these words. I thought I would have so much more time to enjoy and experience my children. I now realize all the more how important it is to seize the day, the hour, the moment because they are so brief. How often I wished for the day when they could walk and talk, now I often long for the days when I was able to hold them snugly in my arms and rock them to sleep. How many times I wished for the day when they would be more independent and do more things for themselves, now I wish they would ask me to do the little things that I once considered a laborious
As they grow and advance so rapidly I can’t help but wonder have I done and am I doing the best job that I could? Have I and am I doing all that the Lord has required of me as a mother. Am I training them up in the way that they should go. Each day that they walk out of our home to go into a world that can too often be cruel and callous, I pray, “Lord help me to help them.” “To lead them in your truth and ways, Lord help me to use this time that you have
allowed me to be home with my children wisely.” “To nurture them as they grow, and to instill your Word in their hearts.”
As I think back on the times that people told me how much I would love motherhood, I can’t recall anyone ever telling me being a mom hurts. No one ever mentioned the times that you would want so desperately to reach out and help your child, but you must sit back and watch them attempt it on their own in order to grow. Ouch, there’s that pain again. The day they learn to walk or ride a bicycle, you know they will have a few falls, and tumbles but you must let them go in order to grow. However with every pain comes the knowing that God is moving in their lives and He is causing them to grow up into the destiny that He holds for them.
I often times wonder, is this how the Father views me? Rejoicing and proud of the way that I am growing in Him, yet at times feeling the growing pains of watching me make the mistakes that he knows could be avoided, but being determined to grow I have to attempt it on my own. Only to come back to Him, who has the answers and holds the key. Does he miss the way that I depended upon Him for every need, the way that my babies once depended upon me? Or how I would constantly stay in His face talking to Him and wanting to know so much more, the way my toddlers did, always wondering why and how.
I see how the babies who once depended upon the milk of my breast for nourishment have now grown into the place of desiring and eating meat and bread. Just as we once depended upon the sincere milk of the Word but now depend and live upon the true meat of the word.
As my children continue to grow and mature, I find myself excited at what new things await them. I am also excited at the new things that await us as a growing family. I know that there will be those days when I will feel that familiar pang, but knowing that even as I watch my children grow, I have a Father who is watching even more closely over my growth. I also know
that the growth the Father does in me as I watch my children grow is well worth the painful ache. For I know that He will cause us to move from level to level, to glory to glory and what we will be when he is finished with us remains to be seen.
La Tonya Robinson
As For Me And My House; We shall serve the Lord! Joshua 24:15
Her children arise up, and call her blessed…Proverbs31:28