Tuesday, 12 September 2017 17:10

Dear Moms of College Freshmen

Written by  Brenda Payne
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I dropped my youngest child off at college this week. I can definitely tell you it was NOT the experience I had six years ago when I took my first child.

 

I chuckled as I recounted our first odyssey: all the months of preparation, all the stuff we moved into that tiny dorm room, all the pictures we took and posted on social media, and all the tears we shed as we said our goodbyes. For goodness sakes, we lived 40 miles down the road! This time, there was no fanfare AT ALL. We ordered just about everything we needed online the week before move in day. We unloaded and set up in under an hour. And, after a sweet prayer, a few hugs, and a last-minute photo op (which I nearly forgot) we were on our way. So what made the difference? Me. I am different. I am not the same mom.

 

By God’s grace, I have grown to steward my children and relinquish “ownership.” I have grown in humble dependence on Him, recognizing His limitless abilities in parenting and embracing my limits! Here are a just a few ways I have learned (and still) counsel myself.

 

#1 - Your Child is Going to College to Live.

 

Grieve appropriately but not disproportionately. One of my sweet friends who lost her child as a junior in high school found it difficult to endure the laments of mothers two years later who would “lose” their children to college. Grief is a feeling of sadness we experience with loss. Admittedly, there are some losses for moms when our children leave the home (mostly for us not for them)! But there are also many gains. I have enjoyed parenting my adult children beyond what I could have imagined. Dependency does not make a relationship close. In fact, the choice our children make to be our friends is a reward and gift from God. The harder it is for you to let go of your child, the greater the indication it is time for him/her to go.

 

#2 - God is in Control.

 

He always has been. I know, like me, you thought that you were keeping your child’s life orbiting. But reality check, you are not in control now and you never really were. Now that the illusion is gone, you must find comfort in trusting the all-knowing God!

 

#3 - It is God’s Design for Children to Grow Up and Move Onto Independence and Interdependence on God and Others.

 

One of my friends used to say, “There are Little House on the Prairie families and Cape Canaveral families. We are raising our children to launch!” Encouraging “Kidulting” (adults who act like kids) is damaging to our children’s maturity and to our relationship.

 

#4 - Your Child Will Fail.

 

He/she is a maturing sinner. The less inclined to Christ, the more your child is apt to stumble and fall. But God is Sovereign (ruling) over his/her failures. Your child needs to fail. Jesus is not a “self-help” guru, a “genie in a bottle,” or a therapist. He is the Savior. Your adult child needs to have an accurate view of him or herself, a sinner in need of a Savior before he/she will embrace Jesus.

 

#5 - God is Everywhere, Even When You Are Not.

 

God’s omnipresence is another comforting characteristic that I cling to. The realization that there is nowhere my child is that God is not can arrest my anxiety when I don’t hear from him/her or cannot get in touch.

 

#6 - Freedom Will Reveal Much About Your Child’s True Heart Orientation.

 

Your child will live out of his heart. This is an opportunity to pray fervently, and as the opportunity arises to counsel wisely. Don’t give your child false assurances of faith to make yourself feel better. But don’t be afraid to hold a professing child accountable to consider his/her faith in decision-making. But remember, whether your child is lost or saved, he/she needs to be gently reminded of the comfort and call of the gospel.

 

#7 - Prayer Is Not Your Last Resort, But Your First Call to Battle for the Good of Your Child.

 

The old adage “The fiercest battles are won on our  knees” rings truer when personal influence is diminished. Praying for temporal issues is certainly normal and necessary, but be challenged to spend your prayer energy on the weightier soul matters.

 

#8 - I Am Still Growing Up.

 

One of my older sweet friends is always referring to her adult life as “when I was a mere child of 30, 40, 50, etc.” In light of eternity, we are all mere children no matter how many candles on the birthday cake. It is easy to place all my focus on my child and his/her personal and spiritual growth. But God is not done with me yet! As my home empties of children, God intends to fill it with greater opportunities to know Him and to make Him known.

 

I pray you will trust God in this new season of life. I pray you will let go and rejoice with your child as he/she transitions to adulthood. Your relationship is not ending; it is changing. And God willing, for the better!

 

 

Contributed by Brenda Payne, COPYRIGHT© 2017 KNOWN Ministries, Inc. All website content at KNOWNMinistries.org is provided by multiple contributors who write based on their personal opinion & life experience. We are not medical professionals and none of our opinions should be taken as medical or professional advice.

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