When the Sidewalk Ends

As I sit and look at all of the beautiful graduation pictures my heart starts racing.   All of these moms and dads have worked tirelessly for years preparing, nurturing, and loving on these little seeds of theirs and now it’s time to send them off and let them blossom in a world unknown.  If they’re at all like me they’ve kept them on the sidewalk (to the best of their ability) for all of these years and now it’s time for these young people to choose their own path.

I don’t know about you but I may have just thrown up in my mouth a little.  I like the sidewalk.  I like the safe path.  I thrive on rules and regulations … what if they choose the bumpy road?  What if they find the highway too quickly?  I’m conflicted. I WANT them to make their own beautiful choices.  That’s my heart's greatest desire; to raise faithful, kind, generous and determined people.  I know, however, that some of their decisions will end up in triumphs and some will ultimately end up in trials.  Ugh… I’m not a helicopter parent but I do think about wrapping them in bubble wrap sometimes (I’m joking). What if I failed them?  Have I equipped them? My head honestly swirls with this stuff. (You’re getting a small glimpse of my crazy.)

I’m choked at times, quite honestly far too frequently than I care to admit, by the what if’s.  I trust their judgement, but what if they make some of my bad choices. I know they love the Lord, but that didn’t always keep me on the sidewalk.  I’m beginning to understand the tears and fears of the moms and dads who have gone before us.  I’m humbled and embarrassed by some of the judgements I’ve made regarding ‘just letting your child go.’  It’s hard folks.  I’m 2 summers away from doing that very thing and yet I still feel like I just brought them home from the hospital. 

 And then I remember to be still.  HE is with us.  HE loves them more than I can even imagine and that’s seriously just unfathomable and also relieving to me.  This is truthfully about a hole in my faith and not in any lack of character or judgement that my kids may have to go off into this great world.  The thing is that without HIS promise and without my faith (even when it’s light) this stuff would land me in the looney bin. I’m probably not that far off even with both of those things.

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.  I breathe a sigh of relief at that.  And then I repeat it, repeat it, repeat it.

The bottom line as I walk through all of my fears is that where my sidewalk ends with this stage of their life… their road is just beginning.  Whether it be windy, bumpy, scenic, occasionally dark and hopefully a lot of light the promise of their future far outweighs the fears that I may have in watching them do it.  I may not be holding their hand on the sidewalk, but God will be lighting their path and guiding their hearts because his seed has been growing in each of them for a long time.  His roots run deep and wide and their time to blossom is upon us.