You Can Go Now

I wrote this in 2014. School just began and all the feelings I wrote in the blog come flooding back. I’m still learning to let go of the people I love.

ON the first day of school, student laughter drifts across the street like melody to my ears. And along with their glee, three grown children unknowingly pluck my heart strings from afar.

How long does it last…this forlorn desire to rewind time? Or must I remain tethered to the memory of my children the way they were?

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My mind’s eye sees them standing on our front porch. They’re dressed in new outfits, their backpacks filled with freshly-sharpened pencils, colored markers, and wide-ruled paper.

 I fumble with my camera while they moan, “Hurry up, Mom! We don’t want to be late!”

Within two weeks, I’ll have to shoo them out the door, “Hurry up, you’ll be late!”

While my voice vibrates like a helicopter…helicopter mom

ü  “Do you have your homework?”

ü  “Did you remember your lunch?”

ü  “Don’t forget to hand in your permission slip.”

20131012_170430Last evening, for old time’s sake, I sat at the playground and remembered my youngest child’s first day of kindergarten.

Grasping his hand, we weaved through timid children and zealous parents until we found his cubbyhole. It  was marked by a laminated sign decorated with a red apple and his name written in bold print.

Then he sat down with his classmates at one of the round tables. I squatted beside his dwarf-sized chair, hoping to provide moral support while we waited for the bell to ring.

Only, he had enough confidence for the both of us.

“You can go now.”

I did not expect my son to cling to my skirts like crazy glue. After all, he had older siblings on campus and was eager to join their ranks.

And yet, his matter-of-fact tone threw me off guard.

I left the room like a Butler dismissed from service.

Lord, why is it so hard to let go?

 

Thirteen years later, I’m still learning to let go.

Recently, we flew across the nation and left our son at college.

I postponed my torrent of tears by remaining agenda-oriented. However, Sunday morning ushered in the dread of saying goodbye.

Sitting at church, between my husband and son, I pressed that moment into my heart like rose petals in a book.

 Thank you, Lord, for my family. Thank you for Your goodness.

Other moments, including my son’s first day of kindergarten, flooded my memory bank. Only this time, it was the Lord who said,

“Karen, YOU CAN GO NOW!”

I blinked back tears while God spoke as though He were talking in my ear. “Are you willing to trust Me with your child?

My head nodded though my heart balked until I remembered,

The Lord loves my children more than I do.

And if that’s true, I can let go and go now because God will never leave nor forsake them….even in this circumstance.

 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Martha or Messiah?

There are words written in pastel chalk on the cement leading to my front door. Drawn at the brink of our family celebration, the words became a welcome mat acknowledging my son’s high school graduation, my parent’s 60th anniversary.

“Congratulations!” “Welcome to California!”

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 Chalk words that gladdened hearts now fade in the summer sun. The family members we welcomed have gone.

I mop the kitchen floor, erasing dusty footprints and sticky crumbs where people gathered to eat and laugh. Now the only reminders of my guests are photographs nailed to the refrigerator with magnets. Moments captured. Smiling faces preserved on matted paper.

Has it only been a week since I felt my eldest son’s strong embrace, smelled the fresh scent of my daughter’s hair, listened to the voices of my parents who have loved me well?

While they were here, I cooked, served, and smiled. I rose before dawn like the woman in Proverbs and saw to the needs of my household. Adrenaline, and love for them, kept me going till the midnight hour.

The family called me Martha (woman mentioned in the Gospels). They urged me to sit still and rest. But I’m wired to be a Martha…catering to other people’s needs.

Did you sleep well? Are you hungry? Can I get you something to drink?

Are you hot or cold? Need a pillow for your head?

How can I encourage you, pray for you? Make you feel loved?

I don’t mind being a Martha, but in assuming to meet their every need, do I act like their Messiah?

·  Do I urge them to rely on Jesus, or depend on me when there’s a problem and decision to be made?

· Do I mislead when I share what I think is best, or encourage them to consult and obey God’s Word?

“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Some days, I balk at being Martha when I think of what Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things…” (Luke 10:41)

Then I read His Word, “Jesus loved Martha….” (John 11:5) And I’m reminded He loves me too even when I’m worried and distracted by many things.

I know Jesus loves me because even in this….aftermath of celebration…He’s teaching me that a Martha can best serve her family’s needs by letting go, and leading them to Jesus.

Unlike the chalk words on my cement, HIS Word never fades away.