Labor Day traditionally heralds the change of seasons. In many places, (Texas excluded) the dog days of summer come to a gradual end as the changes in the wind bring cooling temperatures. Anticipation grows as a new school years dawns and the signs of fall begin to show themselves.
Well…Labor Day is upon us, but to me, nothing really looks the same as previous years.
COVID 19, distance learning, social unrest and the increasing rancor of the upcoming presidential election have made the past 6 months almost unrecognizable, and for me, obscured the excited anticipation I have always had for the fall season.
Adding to my stifled excitement, is the fact that I am entering a new life season as well: empty nesting. As my four, now adult children, have begun to fly the coop heading toward their perspective college campuses, in the span of 13 days, I have gone from a full house to an empty house.
Compounding this life-changing experience is that fact that my youngest are twins. For those who have multiples, you can relate to the fact that ever since their entrance into the world, the impact of every season of their lives has been big. Their births filled our house instantly, and their exit has now emptied it just as abruptly. My heart now resides on four different college campuses across the state of Texas.
As I have learned over the past four years with my older kids entering college, the parenting of adult children has some significant challenges. The line between helping them navigate the world ahead of them and taking control of the wheel myself is thin. To be honest, the effects of the Corona virus and the changes that it has brought to all aspects of the college experience has only made this process more difficult.
So, what is this mama to do?
For me, the answer is to take my children before the Lord in prayer. In fact, I have learned that it is really the only thing that I can do. I know from experience that when the phone calls of frustration, disappointment and loneliness come from my children, the only solace for them and me comes from the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. I know from recent experience, that when the phone call comes, explaining that my freshman son, who has been on his campus for only four days, is on his way to the emergency room with a deep gash in his head, the only thing I can do, is lift his health and care to the God who cares for him even more than I do!
I’m truly grateful for the wisdom that comes from the Word of God and for the excellent resources that his people have created for those, just like me, who are navigating the storms and challenges of this season of life. If you need some help and encouragement, I would recommend these resources: Marked by Prayer: A Parents’ Prayer Journal for the 2020-2021 School Year by Cynthia Yanoff, The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian, and Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children: Trusting God with the Ones You Love by Jodie Berndt.
Today, no matter what challenges the winds of change may bring to you or to your children, remember these words spoken to the Apostle Paul by Jesus, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). When we acknowledge our helplessness, we allow the Lord to show his strength!