When a child is born, a mother anxiously checks for 10 fingers and 10 toes. She waits to hear the verdict from the medical staff that her child is healthy and whole. It’s a time of wonder when that tiny being is first placed in your arms and a time of uncertainty when you’re released to return home with the responsibilities of caring for a new life.
As each year passes, we watch our children grow, revealing their distinct personalities. While one child may be more fearful, another may test a mother’s patience with attempts to defy gravity or some other activity leading to cuts, bruises and broken limbs.
Letting go is difficult.
As the mother of two sons, now in their late 30s, I am aware of the limitations of my influence at this stage of their lives. With the lessons they learned as children embedded in their memories, I can only pray daily for their safety, well-being, their relationship with God and success in all they do. I pray for their work situations, their health, their relationships and how they raise their children.
When a child is young, a mother knows how to fix things. We can kiss a scraped elbow, place a warm, damp wash rag on their heads to bring comfort when ill, listen to their fears and promise them there are no monsters under the bed.
A mother’s heart is torn when a child becomes an adult and she realizes how her role has changed. Letting go is difficult.
Seven years ago when things were in turmoil in both of my sons’ lives, I discovered a small book titled “The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children.” The book of prayers by Stormie Omartian is now well-worn because I use it each morning during my quiet time with the Lord. I also write the date I prayed that prayer for each one of my sons.
In the introduction, the author writes, “I believe these prayers will help any parent to have a positive impact on the lives of their adult children. I pray that each prayer will help you to find greater freedom from worry and concern because you are tapping into the power of God, which is greater than anything you or they may be facing. When we take our concerns to the Lord—trusting that God hears our prayers and answers them on behalf of our adult children—our prayers will have the power to effect change in their lives.”
The first prayer in the book is titled “What Every Parent of an Adult Child Needs to Know,’ reminding us that the Lord is the only perfect parent. Many of us blame ourselves for the mistakes we made when parenting our young children. This prayer reminded me I needed to confess my mistakes and ask God to redeem and release me from all my guilt.
Trusting God to work His will in my sons’ lives has made this mother’s heart peaceful.