“Song of Letting Go” was written May of 2012.
“I need you to…” I struggled with my emotions, unable to finish my sentence. I tried again, “I need you home to…” I choked on my words making me sound angry. I was frozen at my kitchen counter, head down, eyes tightly shut. I clutched my phone listening to my daughter.
“Mom!”, she said in frustration, “I really don’t want anything more out of my room!” I kept my tears in check, speaking carefully around them. “I don’t need you home to empty your room, I need you home to….” My voice cracked. “I need to spend time with you before you move.” At this, my daughter’s voice cracked. “I know, Mom.”
My daughter had called to tell me that she had changed her plans and would be moving from Minnesota to New Hampshire the weekend following her graduation. I had calculated quickly and realized I would hardly get to see her before she left. I wouldn’t even be able to see her off as I was scheduled to work that weekend. It had hit me unexpectedly hard. My daughter, my last child still under my wing, really was going to move and far enough away that it would be difficult for me to visit.
It was not like her move came out of the blue. She had talked of little else for the past year. She was moving to New Hampshire to help in a small Home Missions work there. I had previously told her that she needed to have a job in New Hampshire and her school bill paid before she moved, which was good advice, but lately I had felt that perhaps I was wrong. I had started to feel she shouldn’t delay her service to God, so I told her she should get her resume` ready and be prepared to go. She had planned on moving the end of the year but now, suddenly she was going. I did not object to her going where she felt God was leading her to go. She has her own calling that she needs to be faithful to and I expected her seek direction from God on her own, but it did not keep me from feeling a great sadness and loss when she told me she was leaving so soon.
We hung up and I went to the couch to pray and finally let my tears flow. I knew my God, my Jesus would understand. As I prayed and talked to God, I remembered what a dear lady had said to me just a week or so earlier. I had been moaning about problems with my lawn tractor and not being able to get my lawn mowed. She wrote on my Facebook page. “I take the stance about things like this at least it’s not health, it’s stuff.” I will admit that at the time I thought her comment was a little more serious than the post warranted, but I love this lady and took it to heart. Now, I remembered her comment and said to the Lord, concerning my tears and sadness, “At least I’m not feeling this way because of a sickness or death or some kind of trial and I’m not crying over my daughter because she’s backslid!” “She’s graduating from four years of Bible college and she’s leaving to go to where You’ve called her to.” Then, I remembered my tears and heartbreak throughout the years prior as my husband left and children slipped away from their commitments to God. As I thought on the hours I had poured my broken heart out to Jesus, I spoke to the Lord. “Jesus, You know that all I have asked for and cared about all of these years of praying for my children is that they live for You and walk in Your ways. Even before my children were born, I gave them to You and that prayer has never changed. That has been my heart’s prayer all of these years.”
As I was thinking on this again, it reminded me of Hannah, the mother of Samuel in the Bible. She had prayed to be able to have a child and finally, in her desperation, she told the Lord God that if He would give her a man child, ‘then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life,’ I Samuel 1:11. God heard her prayer and little Samuel was the result. After she had weaned Samuel, she took him to the temple and gave him to Eli the priest as she had promised and he was mightily used of God. When I thought of this I remembered the song of worship Hannah had sung after she left Samuel with the priest and I thought, “I will not be sad. I will write a song of praise to Jesus because I’m giving my daughter back to Him.”
Song of Letting Go
Jesus, I remember the day I stood in front of the mirror and cried because I was pregnant with yet another child. You asked me if I could trust You in this thing also. And I said,”Yes, Lord. I will trust you in this thing also.”
And Jesus, I remember that little girl riding in the car and looking at the stars shining in the sky. She said, “Look at the beautiful hands of God!”
And Jesus, I remember the day she stood at the open front door singing her heart out to you. She sang the only words to the song she knew as loud as she could! She sang, “God’s got an army! God’s got an army!” She sang it over and over to you. Then suddenly her song stopped and she came running to me saying, “There’s a man at the door!” though I found no one there waiting. I said, “What did the man say?” and she said words I’ll never forget. She said, changing her voice low, “I am the Captain of the Army of the Lord and God DOES have an army!”
Jesus I remember her stumbling a bit, trying to find her way until You talked to my heart loud enough for me to say, “If you could, Abby would you still go to Bible college?” Her tears and the nodding of her head said more than words ever could.
Jesus, I’ve seen her grow and receive her own call, now Jesus I give her…my child…back to You.
My tears may not be quite finished, but I’m letting go of my daughter to serve God in her own way with her own calling.
I may have an empty nest, but my quiver is full.
1. Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.