If You're Dropping Off Part of Your Heart At College
“But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, ‘You are my God!’” Psalm 31:14 (NLT)
It seems like just yesterday my three little ones were coming down the stairs in the mornings with floppy bedheads and sleepy eyes. But now one daughter has graduated college, and the other is a college senior. My son, the baby of the family, starts college this month!
Growing up is hard. Not just for kids. But for moms, too. When our kids enter new seasons of life so do we, and trusting God with our children becomes more important — and maybe even harder — than ever before.
In today’s key verse, we see evidence of David turning away from his doubts and fears and intentionally deciding to trust God instead. He realized he had no chance of winning the battles against his enemies without God’s help.
David faced a physical enemy, but often we face the invisible enemy of our out-of-control emotions, especially when our little ones have become big ones, and it’s time for them to be out on their own.
Just like David realized, it’s hard to try to win the battle for our thoughts and emotions all alone. David boldly proclaimed His trust in God because he was loved by His Father. As moms we, too, can boldly proclaim our trust in God by believing God loves our children just as much as we do.
But let’s face it, despite our best intentions to trust God with our children, worries and fears can still fill our minds. When our children start new phases of life like kindergarten, middle school or high school, it’s hard not to worry. But when they start college, worry takes on a whole new level. Worry coupled with the empty ache in our hearts from looking at their empty bedroom in our house can feel overwhelming and emotionally draining.
So, for all you moms sending your most treasured possessions off to a college campus, here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind to help you maintain peace and comfort in your heart as you embark on this new phase of life:
Don’t let your emotions run away with you. After dropping my firstborn off at college five years ago, I let my emotions get the better of me — as if sending my daughter to college was throwing her to the wolves and meant never, ever seeing her again. Ever. I finally realized I was letting my fears and emotions control my joy.
Do ask God to fill your heart with peace and comfort, and trust He is in control. It’s hard to control emotions especially when it comes to the wellbeing of and love for our children. Ask God to fill you with a peace that surpasses understanding and the ability to control your emotions.
Don’t assume your child is going to make the same mistakes you did in college — or that they won't make any mistakes at all. As moms, we want to prevent our kids from making decisions that will negatively impact them. But as much as we want to protect them, we have to let them make their own choices … which sometimes means their own mistakes. Just as we learned from our mistakes and may have already seen God use those mistakes for His glory, so will they.
Do pray for the Holy Spirit to be their guide. Ask God to convict their hearts if they start heading down a wrong path. We can’t always be with our children, but God is.
Don’t convince yourself you’ve failed at getting your child ready for college. Sending a child off to college or any new phase of life is never easy on a mom's heart. We can think of a million things we could/should have done better. But we are reminded in Proverbs 22:6 that if our child really knows the Lord, even if they stray, they will eventually return.
Do continue to pray daily for your child’s heart and life. Ask God to bring people into their lives who will be godly influences and help shape them in positive ways. Never cease praying for your children no matter how old they get.
Letting go of the reins of our children’s lives is hard, but when we focus on our faith instead of our worries and trust God will be looking after them, the letting go seems a little less stressful.
Lord, help me have peace about sending my child off into this new season of life. Protect them in every way. Help me trust You are in control and always by their side. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (NLT)
Genesis 28:15a, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go.” (ESV)
Having a hard time trusting God with your college student’s well-being because maternal fears and emotions are consuming your mind? Purchase Tracie Miles’ newest book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies for Transforming the Way We Think, Feel and Live, for help in transforming your thoughts and learning to think more optimistically.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Have you been excited for your child to start college (or the next school year), or does the thought fill you with dread? What is keeping you from trusting God is in control?
Pray and release to God whatever’s been gripping your heart with anxiety.
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