A New Parent
The day we brought my first child home from the hospital was filled with terror and apprehension. I had never felt such an overwhelming responsibility, and she was fragile and needy. On the drive home from the hospital, I gasped at intersections with oncoming cars, worried that someone might crash into us. I cautioned my husband, “Slow down. You’re going too fast.”
That baby survived the drive home from the hospital. Today, she gives medical treatment to people who seek healing at the hospital ER where she works. As we moved from caregiver to friend in this journey, we became her cheerleader on the sidelines.
(I wrote about celebrating those milestones in her life, here.)
This weekend, my daughter will marry the love of her life, and we will celebrate with them in a small ceremony. She and her husband will create a new family, The ceremony that formalizes a marital bond between them also formalizes an official letting go for us.
A New Role
We’ve been letting go in small increments for 2 decades. As our children grew, our role in their lives changed. Bob Hostetler explains the changing roles of a parent in his article, “The Four Phases of Parenthood:”
- Commander (birth to about 6 years old). It’s the stage when parents must help the child with everything, serving as a benevolent dictator.
- Coach (about 6 to 12 years old). It’s the stage when parents begin shifting decisions and responsibilities to the child with guidance.
- Counselor (the teen years). It’s the stage when a child learns to make decisions on her own and becomes independent.
- Consultant (adulthood). It’s the stage when parents let the child go, and she becomes their friend.
Parenting is hard. Every parent needs to hear this encouragement: “Relax, There’s Not One Right Way to Do This.”
A New Season
I’ve been playing the song “Landslide” on repeat. I’m not sure why. Some of you may remember Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nick’s soulful voice. These lyrics have been on my mind this month as I anticipate the change of seasons.
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Chorus:“Landslide,” written by Stevie Nicks (1975)
Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too
As a parent, I have grieved the passing of a season, like when she went to first grade or college. Then, I face a new one, ready to embrace its challenges and sweet gifts.
In this change, I’m staying rooted in the simple faith that Jesus never changes,
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.Hebrews 13:8 NASB
And, my Father God has good things in store in this new season, too,
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.James 1:17 NASB
Stay Rooted in Jesus
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.Colossians 2:7 NLT
During the summer months, buy Led and Surrendered at a discounted price–both for $20–including shipping and tax. Each short book provides 30 readings and reflection questions. Build your faith this summer with a devotional that fits your busy lifestyle.