When our firstborn left home to attend college, I remember thinking, “Our lives now will become a series of comings and goings.” I had no idea at that moment, the impact of that statement. I couldn’t have been more contented with the life we lived prior to this earthquake of a transition. Our lives were tightly knit together under one roof. Always aware where each other was. Sharing life together. Then one by one the threads of each child’s life were loosened. And eventually each formed their own tightly knit togetherness under their own roofs.

Releasing our children to follow God’s will for their lives is always challenging. However, for those of us the challenge is intensified when God’s plan leads them to distant places. Out of four children, only one lives nearby. And for a time, our son’s stateside has brought him and his family closer.

Honestly, I’m not as contented with life as I was when all four of my children lived at home. But tenderly and gently, God prepared my heart to find a new way to be contented. A verse that has been a personal mainstay for me is Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.

That verse reminded me that God’s will for my children’s future was not intended to make me miserable. The plans He had for me and the plans He has for them, are good plans that will bring us a hopeful future. My trust in God to guide my beloveds has been empowered as I have prayed Psalm 25:4 over them:

Show them the right path, O LORD; Point out the road for them to follow. Lead them by your truth and teach them…

By choosing God’s will over my will for my children, I have discovered a valuable truth. While the separation continues to be difficult, a daily dependence on God and His word makes it doable.