Thursday, June 25, 2015

Letting Them Grow Up

Today my 17 year old daughter starts her very first "real" job. She has been babysitting since she was 12 and done photography sessions, she's a photographer, since she was 15. But this is her first regular-paying, set-hours, gotta-pay-taxes kind of job. Can I just be honest? I've cried. A lot.

I've cried tears of joy. My daughter went out and did this 100% on her own. We have chosen to not push our children to work. {You may have different views and that's okay. If you disagree, please do so respectfully.} My children learn responsibility at home. They learn what it means to be part of a team and help one another. How to go the extra mile and how to have good integrity. They also learn this at church as we encourage them to find the ministry God wants them to serve in and do so with their whole heart. At home, they also learn how to handle money, pay tithe, and earn things they want. They will have a job in one way or another all of their life. We want them to enjoy their growing up years and focus on education. At 17 my daughter decided she was ready to get a job. She did everything from seeking a place to work, filling out the applications, interviews, phone calls, everything on her own.

I've cried tears of fear. My child whom we have cared for is now going out into this world. A world that is not always nice. She will meet new people who will not share the same views as her, people who will not look or act like her, people who may not like her {though, as her mom I think that's impossible!}. She will be let down and hurt. She will have successes and she will have failures. I wonder if we raised her right. Did we miss anything in teaching her? Have we helped her to grow her Godly character and integrity to what it should be? In this cruel world, will she be safe?

I've cried tears of mourning. Maybe it's because I had her so young and we've grown up together, maybe it's because I homeschooled and she was with me all of the time, or maybe it's just because I'm a mom. But I've cried tears knowing she may miss a family dinner from time to time. When I go to ask her something, she won't be home, she'll be at work. Where I am used to hearing her walk through the house singing all day, it will now be quiet. When I am used to her helping hand at home, she will not be available.

Oh friends, I've cried so much. But through these tears I have a reminder. A reminder that calms the fears and sets my heart at peace.


He is proud of her too. He walked beside her this whole time. While I stepped back in the shadow and let her do this job thing on her own, He was there beside her. He will continue to be beside her as she goes into work and out into her new world. He will keep her safe, He will give her gentle reminders throughout her day, He will whisper to her. He loves her far more than I ever could, as hard as that is to fathom.

And I am reminded that He mourns for us too. When we walk away from Him, He mourns. But just like my arms will be open when she comes home tonight, Jesus is there with open arms waiting for us to come back to Him.

When you are struggling to let your children grow up, remember Jesus.

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