Today's post was written by Beth Middleton who is married to Jeff and is the mother of three children, Jordan, Elizabeth, and Gaelan. She has lived in Birmingham for 12 years and is a member of Brook Hills. From NC, Beth is an interior designer, artist, and Mary Kay consultant.

I am drawing to the stage of my life when my last child is leaving the nest. Our third child just graduated from high school. I must admit, I have been in denial of this event, but it's here. And in a few months, he will be off to school.

Every mother must go through this roller coaster ride of emotions when her baby graduates from high school. I can assure you, it doesn’t take much to move this Mom to tears when I think over the past eighteen years of precious time with my son. Memories of tenderly nursing my baby, patiently teaching him to walk and talk, driving him to kindergarten, chaperoning field trips, teaching him how to drive, visiting colleges, and senior prom, are all unforgettable. The years slide by quickly, leaving a trail of distant memories and photos.

How do I let go? It’s not easy, already experiencing this twice with my older son and daughter who are both in college. My answer is to trust God. I had to learn several years ago to trust God completely with my children. Although I am the Mom that God chose to be caregiver to my three children, they belong to Him. Completely surrendering my children to the Lord, realizing they are His not mine, was one of the hardest things to do as a young Mother. He created them as his children. He’s got them covered. I know God will watch over their lives, their coming and going, both now and forever more (Ps. 121:5-8).

Proverbs 3:5-6 states, ”Trust the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and He will direct your path”(NIV). This is my favorite Bible verse, and God has reminded me of it all through my parenting years. It’s hard to completely trust God as a parent and not try to control everything yourself. God has to gently remind me to not lean on my own understanding, but to lean on him and trust him in all things.

God has given me the wisdom and knowledge, through His word, to raise three children with the help of a wonderful husband. I’m not a perfect parent by any means, and I don’t have perfect children. I have made many mistakes along the way, just as my children have, but I know through the promise of God’s word that I can lean on Him for help.

God is joyfully walking this journey with me as I near this transition. As a mother bird prepares her young to fly from the nest, so shall I, with God’s help. “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2). The one who carefully knitted my son together in my womb (Ps. 138:13) will watch over him as he leaves this nest. My son will make some mistakes. He will suffer along the way through his own trials and tribulations, but God will never leave his side. I know God will go before him, and He will be with him (Deut. 31:8). We are assured and promised that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:7-8).

I never said letting go was easy, but when I acknowledge who is LORD and trust Him completely, it makes the process easier. I don’t have to do this by myself. I can talk to God about all my worries and concerns. There’s a promise in Deuteronomy 31:3 that eases my mind as I start this new season of life. The verse states, “The LORD your God himself will cross over ahead of you.” My relational LORD Himself is already holding His hand out to walk through this with me. I may start crying again as I joyfully read this promise. This is how I let go and let God go ahead of me. Oh, alright, get me the tissues, quick.

Thank you, God, for Your promises to guide us Mothers through every season of life, even the ones when we have to let go. Thank you for already crossing over ahead of us to direct our way. Amen.
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