Life is a series of transitions. This past weekend we experienced a major transition in our family. We launched Nathan our oldest, into college life at The University of Alabama. We are thankful for God’s grace in Nathan’s life, and excited for his future.
Transitions are challenging. They are challenging for parents. After investing nearly two decades in Nathan, suddenly he’s six hundred and twenty-miles away from home. The transition is challenging for siblings still at home as well. Being so close in age at 18, 17, and 15, our children have always been close friends and confidants.
As I process and think through the new season of life we have entered into as a family, I am reminded of several realities I find helpful.
1. The goal of raising children is ultimately to prepare them for life.
We raise our children to release them. All of the care, provision, guidance, and lessons along the way are intended to result in children who are capable and competent to enter into the world, and love and serve God with purpose. While the transition is challenging, there is great joy in watching your child who has become a full-fledged adult, step out of the nest and fly.
2. Our children belong to God.
As much as we think they belong to us, ultimately they belong to God. He formed and knew them even before they were born. This truth should increase our faith and dependence on God. If they belong to him, shouldn’t we trust him to continue to guide and care for them? God is far more capable of watching over our children than we are. He has a plan and purpose for their lives. A major part of our role is to continue to point our children to God for strength, wisdom, and direction.
3. When transitions come, they are opportunities for relationships to grow, and mature.
In a sense, our children will always be our babies. Yet for relationships to grow, and mature, we must begin to see things with a new perspective. I think we can learn as much from our children as they can learn from us as parents. I look forward to how the relationships with my children will develop as we progress through life transitions. Different is not bad, it’s just different. In fact, different can be better if we approach things in the right way.
I have had Proverbs 3:5-6 on my mind the past few days. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Trust. . . Lean. . . Acknowledge
Thank you Lord for transitions in life. They give us the opportunity to grow in our faith. You are good and can always be trusted. Help us to see life as a gift, and steward it well for your glory in Jesus’ name.