The seesaw of letting go…

As I watched him drive down the street, away from the home he has known since birth, my heart — wildly skipping a beat —  went with him.

Wildly skipping once again what has become the familiar beat of letting go.

And not liking it anymore than I did a year ago last August, or this May.

Maybe more not liking it than before because he is my youngest.

The last of my Mohicans.

Those wild little Indian boys that ran circles around me growing up, and tied my heart into knots during their teenage years.

My baby #3 driving off into his new life and me wanting to strap him into his car seat or cradle him in my arms.

My son’s solo trip of 2,200 miles will take him far from me, while reuniting him with his brother best friends out West.

And there is nothing to do but let go…

Let go while rejoicing in spite of the lingering sadness.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens…
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Excitement fills my heart over having the house all to ourselves, and us still newlyweds.

Anticipation about our new direction in work and ministry at Longings End bubbles up to overflowing.

And I am thankful that my sons have matured and grown in confidence enough to leave the nest and forge ahead. No failure to launch here, praise God.

While looking on the bright side of this life change, my mother’s heart is weepy.

Has been weepy these last few days as my 19 year old’s departure drew near.

Past year, a curious mix of a thousand highs and lows, joys and sorrows, cleaving and releasing.

And my heart longing to hold on when letting go is all that remains…

Heart holding on making last peanut butter sandwiches for his road trip.

Heart holding on with mother-worry reminders.

Dearest Husband helping me release my hold with his injection of humor…

Whether we must let go of what we hold dear for just a season or due to distance, or we must let go because of the break up of a relationship, never again to see the other individual, we must let go.

And our hearts will hurt before they heal.

For He has made us for relationship. Hearts longing for contact and time with those we love best.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
John 15: 9-12

And my mother’s heart all sad stalls on cutting this last apron string.

Navigating the nest now completely empty is a challenge some days, especially with us selling the house and all the moving prep that stirs memories long sleeping.

So I guess that holding on as I purpose to let go is okay — for awhile, for as long as needed to remember, lament, or seek comfort.

And the process is like riding a seesaw.

On days when the sun is shining bright I ride high, in perfect acceptance of what is, finding new joy in our current now.

On darker days, I bump hard as I come down fast, pull on a gray shawl, and find a modicum of comfort in pain.

Riding a seesaw is how I feel. Perhaps you too?

All of this part and parcel of life in the playground where there’s fun and laughter, swings that soar skyward, and breeze at our backs as we run free like there’s no tomorrow.

And there are also times when we hurt in the playground, fall down scraping a knee or our hearts, or a playground bully pushes us down and makes us cry.

And the way off the seesaw, especially when the bully is holding us high off the ground and we are afraid?

Cry out to Daddy, our Abba God, who is there in a jiff  lifting us into arms strong and safe, tenderly drying our tears.

And in His hug tight all my fears fade, and whispered words of truth calm my mother’s heart.

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:3-4

And then He reminds me of the rich words of Irish missionary and poet, Amy Carmichael.

In her poem about peace we read that it will not be found in forgetting, endeavor, aloofness or submission, but only in acceptance.

For in acceptance lieth peace.

And only then will turmoil deep within us cease.

Easier said than done, especially for this mom on certain days.

But always doable if we look to the One who let His precious Son go for a season, for our beloved sake, only to be reunited for good and forever with Him in the place where there are no more tears.

And as I struggle just a bit with accepting that a major season of my life — one I have loved with all my heart — is over, I discover that praying, journaling, writing and talking about it helps.

So does having a loving mate, a life partner. That Dearest Husband or wife before whom comes only Jesus. The one who is by your side after all the little ones have grown and gone.

And in choosing to hold the hand of him who serves Jesus first and me second, I can ease my grip on the past.

Let go of the childhood days of little things long remembered.

Hold close memories dear while Daddy leads us into brand new dreams come true…


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8 thoughts on “The seesaw of letting go…

    • You are spot on, Jay. And oh the tales I could tell of the journeys I have been on with them…Ultimately, though, our Father is in control and we just need to hang on to Him during the ride. Thanks.

    • How long did it take you to work through those pesky empty nest feelings?

      I know a woman who, when her three daughters grew up and moved away, was so besides herself that she got a second job working nights till 9 pm. She did the two job thing for six years as she worked through the transition.

      I purpose, with the help of God, to trust that His timing for the ending of certain seasons is perfect, and to keep looking and walking forward …

      Thanks for sharing, Cathy. I appreciate the “mom camaraderie.” 🙂

  1. Prayed a lot, cried a lot, cried out to God and read Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David – commentaries on the Psalms. I learned to trust God more and his sovereignty over all things in our lives. I, too, have a wonderful and Godly husband who helped to ease the pain with his love and hugs.

  2. Sheila,
    You know I stand right along side you on the see-saw. The pain comes and goes and some day we can take comfort that we will stop moving and stand still again.

    Love Ya,

    • Love you too, Marie. Thanks for the encouragement. I just never realized how hard a transition to an empty nest could be…Praise God for His grace in all things.