The excruciating art of letting go
I'm studying Hebrews chapter 11, about the great men and women of faith. As I read about them I return to their stories in Genesis and always get stuck and emotional on the story of Abraham and his son Isaac. When I read that story in Genesis 22 about God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his ONLY son ( Gen 22:2) my heart sinks. Abraham faithfully and obediently follows God's orders. Let us not forget that Abraham was a man, a human man. I'm sure in between verses 2 and 3, there was so much heartache, emotion, confusion, questions; not to mention possibly the desire to grab his son and run the opposite direction; try to "hide" from God. After all, Adam and Eve thought they could hide. Or maybe I am describing what I would be going through if I were in Abraham's place.
Of course, the Bible doesn't share what Abraham was going through internally; except for the fact that He believed God was powerful enough to raise his Isaac from the dead after the fact. This is found in Hebrews 11:8-19. Abraham was a great man of faith and walked in obedience to God. That faith statement in Hebrews 11:17,19 "By faith, Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice." "Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead..." Now, it is good to finish the story, as Abraham was about to drive the knife through his only son, God stopped him, the boy lived and both Abraham and Isaac sacrificed a Ram God had provided (Gen 22:12-14). God wanted to see if He was really number one in Abraham's life; I believe because God had a major calling and blessings in store and He wanted to make sure Abraham could handle it.
From the moment, God called Abraham to sacrifice, to the morning they were getting ready to depart to the mountain, Abraham had to let go of his son; emotionally, mentally and soon (so he thought) physically. I try to put myself in Abraham's shoes (sandals) and can't do it, it's too painful; however, we too, as parents have to go through the same pain at one point in our lives. No, God isn't going to call me to slay my children, but there will be a time when "letting go" has to start.
I am reminded of the promise in Proverbs 22:6 "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Abraham knew, in his heart, that God would return the promise son back to him. As I watch my girls grow, now 10 and 15, and watch them draw conclusions, think, act, react, it scares the "everything" out of me. I begin to think I'm failing, I haven't taught them enough, I'm doing something wrong, am I not spending enough time with them? However, I have seen so many incredible parents, raise their kids in the Word of God, in love and balance and the kids still go off and do the opposite of what they were taught. That's where the faith for a resurrection comes in, I suppose, and the faith to stand on God's word that they will return, eventually.
I am witnessing my sweet husband as he experienced his beautiful daughter fly from the nest and is experiencing his son spread his wings wide, getting ready to take flight as well. I can only imagine the heartache, the worry, the loneliness. No wonder this is a syndrome, the empty nest syndrome. He has done an amazing job with his kids, and this is alongside being an incredibly devoted husband and caregiver to his wife of 25 years, who had a terminal illness. I, personally, don't know how I'm going to feel as I watch my "baby" girls spread their wings and fly. So many questions in my heart, "will they fly in the right direction?" "Will they be safe?" and facts, " they have to find their way when they are adults, they have to experience God, testing, blessing, trials, on their own; they have to be given space to mature emotionally and spiritually, as I have and need my space to do the same.
There will be a day when I will have to let go. They are testing the skies as I speak, fluttering their little wings as close to the edge as possible, while I hold their little tail feathers, hahaha. I would rather have them back in their eggs hahaha, but not gonna happen. All of this growing up, bumps, bruises, mistakes are supposed to happen. They have to stand on edge and look down as I share of the dangers to be aware of once it's time to fly. I will do all I can, give my best to raise them in the Lord, in His Word; after that, I must let them go and allow God to continue the nurturing, caring for, lessons. I will always be here to pray for them, love them from a distance if they fly far, and hug them when they come to visit. I'm mentally and spiritually preparing myself because time flies fast and next thing you know it, they're gone.
Thanks for reading :)