Why is it sometimes so hard to let go and simply trust God?
My husband and I recently returned from our much anticipated and needed vacation…which consisted of visiting our son and his wife in Colorado, and then visiting with our other son, and his wife, in California.
Before I share about the joyful, perfectly wonderful time we enjoyed with our family, I need to confess something.
As anyone who is a parent would understand, the most important focus in our lives has been our sons, and building our relationship as a family. We wanted to provide them with a strong foundation of love and stability. Through the years we made lots of personal changes as the Lord led us to learn and grow…a lot of times through trial and error. As we watched our sons grow into strong, responsible and loving men, we also felt ourselves blossoming and growing into better versions of ourselves. In our eyes, God worked a miracle in our lives…blessing our family with a close, trusting relationship.
As our sons married, our family was expanded and our two daughters-in-law added a new dimension to our family dynamics. By the way, they feel more like daughters than daughters-in-law. It seemed that all of our prayers had been answered, and felt very blessed that we all were close and were able to enjoy each other’s company. Life was good.
Then they decided to move across country. From the East coast to Colorado and California.
Although I would like to say that I was extremely happy that they were following their dreams and moving away from the traffic and craziness of the DC area, I have to admit, I can’t say that at all. And the fact that both couples researched and found wonderful laid back communities that offered the beauty of the mountains and/or the ocean, and conducive to a peaceful life where most travel is by bicycle didn’t phase me at all.
Why would they leave us?
Not only move, but move as far away as possible from us. Didn’t they know that everything we did was for them and our family? Didn’t they know how much we struggled to make changes within ourselves so we could be good parents to them and give them what we never had? Didn’t they realize what they were leaving behind…parents that are always there for them and the awesome times we enjoyed together?
Although my mind was happy for them, my heart could not let go. I was holding back with clenched hands, and could not let go and offer my children to God’s safekeeping and His plan for their lives. I wanted to selfishly hold on to them…and keep things the way I wanted them to be.
I wanted my family to be the peaceful haven that we worked so hard to attain, and I just did not allow myself to give it up. In actuality, I was substituting the love and need of my version of family relationship for my love of God. My family had become my idol.
Thank you Lord for opening my eyes.
You have been flawlessly working your plan through all of us. Because of the way your Holy Spirit guided us, we raised two wonderful sons that chose wonderful, loving wives. Each of them have talents and gifts that you will develop and use for your perfect plan, and because of your divine intervention, our sons are strong and grounded enough to be able to follow the call that you set in their hearts.
So was this the most awesome and perfect vacation ever? A thousand times YES! The time we spent together will be treasured and remembered in our hearts…the time together was the most important facet. Now add to that…bicycling, hiking, soaking in natural spring hot tubs, brewery tours, wineries, touring the Hearst Castle, attending Mass as a family at a beautiful Catholic Church and also a Mission, meeting up with and visiting extended family in California, the mountains, the ocean, and also meeting some of our sons’ friends and coworkers and realizing the wonderful communities that they are now a part of. Also the fact that both couples showed us their love by sharing their homes with us, planning our time together, and the wonderful meals and special touches just for us.
Yes, I still miss them. But I have finally opened my clenched fists to receive the grace to let them go and trust God with their lives and also ours.
Thank you Lord for this lightening of spirit that you have blessed me with. Please keep us all in your light and open our eyes, ears, and hearts to your voice and guidance. Help us to quiet our lives and souls so we can hear your whispers, and give us the strength and courage to take up our daily crosses and follow you. Wherever that may be.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?… Luke 9:23-25