“All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful…” Psalm 25:10a (NIV)
August is back to school for many students from kindergarten to college, and our “Momma hearts” can feel the burden of that change.
I don’t know about you, but I cried when I drove away after dropping off my first son at kindergarten. I began then, dreading the day he’d go off to college.
That day finally arrived in 2013, yet the Lord overwhelmed me with His faithfulness and mercy, tenderly caring for my fragile heart. There was a huge change taking place in our family’s life, and I was not a fan of change. Our oldest of four sons would be moving out and heading to Azusa Pacific University. Although he would not be far away, life as we knew it would change forever.
Although I was excited for my son and all that he would experience, the thought of his empty chair around our dinner table was more than I could take, and my heart was breaking.
By God’s grace, the transition was gradual. Because my son moved into his dorm room well before the actual “move-in day,” there was plenty of back and forth from dorm to home and even a dinner or two with the family. Once orientation was complete and official send-offs were over, our life was in full swing. Our other boys were busy with school sports and church activities, my husband was working more than usual, I was planning for fall ministries, and life was busy.
Our dinner table was made up of whoever was home at the time, and not once was everyone home for dinner – until three weeks later. I had to check the calendar because this was so out of the norm. You see, dinner time in our house is when we come together to pray, reconnect, share thoughts and ideas, teach our kids, and listen to one another’s “good and bad thing” for the day.
On this evening, I was preparing a big dinner, and we’d all eat together. My mind was on preparing for Bible Study, which would begin the following morning. I was giving the devotion, so my mind was filled with what I’d be sharing, as well as preparing prayer cards and goody bags for my small group. As we sat down to dinner, the chair across from the head of the table where my husband sits was empty; yet, dinner conversation was lively and upbeat.
It wasn’t until dinner was over and my husband and I were left at the table that I realized what God had done for me. Through tears, I told my husband that God had carried me through those three weeks, filling my time, heart, and soul with the ministry that I loved. By His grace, I did not crumble. He filled my heart with a new intensity for the ministries I was involved in, and He lovingly gave me weeks before only the five of us would sit around that table.
Friends and family prayed for me during this time, and I felt carried. God is so faithful, and He overwhelms me with His compassion.
Maybe your baby went off to high school, or you have just a couple of years until you become an empty nester. Maybe you are sending off a college student further than you’d prefer?
Whatever season you are in, know that God knows your heart and concerns. Give them to God in prayer and take comfort in knowing He will be beside you each milestone and step of the way.
What season are you in, and how is your heart right now? Please feel free to share your concerns and thoughts in the comments below.
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