Growing pains

I cried over a pop tart.

Right in the middle of the grocery store, all of my carefully tucked emotions surfaced, and I wept because I couldn’t buy my son his favorite, plain, strawberry pop tarts anymore.

A few days before, he had packed up his car and drove away. When he moved out, my heart couldn’t process it all. All the plans I had for him were gone. His vision of his life and mine were completely different. Walking by his empty room grieved my heart. Seeing his empty parking place in our driveway tugged at my heartstrings each time I glanced that way.

Simple things broke my heart daily. I missed hearing his laughter. I missed lying in bed at night, listening to his car come around the corner. I missed cooking for him, doing his laundry, and hearing about the little parts of his day. I even missed my boys fighting and arguing with each other.

No one told me how it would feel when our children grow up, move out, and live their lives. Just for reference, he says I’m a stage 10 clinger. I can’t help it. I love my kids, and I would love for them always to be with me.

So, if you are experiencing similar pain, I want you to know that you will get through it, sweet friend. It’s hard. But I learned so much throughout the whole process.

When our kids turn eighteen, our job as a parent changes. We are no longer responsible for them. While we can support them, pray for them, encourage them, etc., we can’t tell them what to do anymore. All we can do is love them right where they are and try to live a good life in front of them.

We must let go and trust God even though we want to hold onto them with both hands. Our dreams are not always their dreams. And truthfully, we don’t know the plans God has for them.

I did a lot of talking and walking with the Lord. Most days, I grabbed tissues and went for a walk. I walked, cried, and prayed. One day, I was in so much turmoil. I worried that I hadn’t done enough. Did I teach him everything he needed to know? I was driving myself crazy when God intervened.

“I’ve got him,” God assured me.

At that moment, I knew God had grace for us and our every need.

It’s a hard transition, especially when we tie our identity to being a mom. For years, my life had revolved around my kids. Now that they are both grown, I had to figure out who I am.

While it’s hard, stepping into this new version of myself is also fun. In some ways, I put my career on hold to raise my family, and now I get to focus on writing more and becoming the best person I can be. I devoted all my time and energy to caring for my family for so long. Now, I’m putting it into other areas of my life.

When I stopped resisting it all, God showed me how to thrive in this season of my life. And I’m so thankful for the opportunity to raise my kids and then let them go so they can become the best version of themselves.

When the pangs of worry creep in, I remember that God’s got them, and He loves them even more than I do. And I can’t wait to see all the incredible things they do with their lives.

Whatever season you are in, sweet friend, I pray you will embrace and enjoy it, if possible, because it, too, will pass.

Photo by Cayden Sullivan
Categories: Uncategorized

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