The following article was written and sent to us by Morna Gilbert, the mother, Malinda, who is serving on the Royal Servants team in Ireland this summer. She shares the journey God has her on this summer as her daughter is away from home serving Christ overseas. We hope this article about “A Parent’s Perspective” will be a source of encouragement and support for other parents of Royal Servants team members.
It’s the dream of a lifetime—her lifetime. Bulging, blue backpack on her arm, my 17-year-old daughter walked through airport security and slowly out of sight. Her long brown hair flowing as her eyes glanced back—just enough to see my faltering wave and a teardrop rolling down my cheek.
She’s headed on a glorious adventure serving on a mission trip to Ireland. It’s right. Its God ordained. She worked hard for this. She is being blessed with an amazing reward.
So why am I a blubbering mess? I’m at odds in my head about how good this is and how hard this is. My emotions run amuck. Why I can’t I just be happy for her?
Why? Because letting go is hard to do.
This pink bundle of beauty has been under the influence of my mother henning for 17 years, 3 months, 22 days, 3 hours, and 42 minutes. Now in a matter of moments—she’s gone—on her own and under someone else’s jurisdiction. Can I trust them? Can I trust her? Or more importantly—can I trust God?
Not only do our children NOT come with an owner’s manual they also do not come with a letting go manual. So how do we let go? Oh, I know she will eventually come back—but she won’t be coming back the same—and that’s what grieves me. Change in a mama’s heart is not easy—especially when it involves tearing her insides apart.
How do we freely let them go?
Bordering on being as blunt as Nike, we “just do it!”
Those words weren’t easy for me to swallow on the ride home from the airport that day. My heart ached and I wanted my baby back.
I found myself talking to God about it then it dawned on me He is one person who really knows what I am feeling! I wondered what it felt like for God the Father to let go of His Son? To let His Son go to a vile, unwelcoming cruel world with people who didn’t care. How did God the Father let go?
He just did it.
Apart from being the Holiest of Holies, the Father of this universe let the Darling of Heaven walk out those Heavenly gates. God had the advantage of knowing what was to come. Call it an advantage—for me it would have been an excuse to hang on tighter and not allow my child to go. The Father knows our pain because He knew His own deep ache.
A Holy God can only do things Holy. He let go because He had to. It was a holy moment. Maybe my letting go of my daughter was a holy moment in God’s eyes also.
Jesus walked through that airport terminal called Earth for an adventure that would impact all of Eternity. I wonder if perhaps my daughter’s adventure will impact someone for all of Eternity?
God the Father knew Jesus would be coming back to Heaven’s throne room—but He wouldn’t be the same. He would be scarred.
What if my daughter comes home scarred?
What has God the Father done with this amazing journey his son embarked on? God’s heart was wide open and bursting with pride worthy of boasting about. God the Father boasted in one way or another on every single page of Scripture about His Son. God the Father wove the intricacies of His Son’s life into the mysteries of the written Word. He wrote of His heart.
God didn’t hide His emotions, did He? He laid them out there for the entire world to see what it is like to let go of something as precious as your child. This gives us permission to walk through our own emotional upheavals.
We let go because it is right. It is being obedient to God our Father Who knows how painful it is –and how valuable.
We let go because it is the only way our children will ever be able to experience their own life purpose, their own walk with God, and their own possible scarring—for His glory.
We let go because therein lies the opportunity to cling to our Lord like we have never had to before. We let go because it is God’s way of drawing us nearer to Him.
We let go freely—with arms wide open to welcome them back in His perfect timing.
Yes, my daughter will come back different. But she’s coming home to a different mama, also. Perhaps we’ll both be a bit more like Jesus? As God the Father and His son were reunited—we, too, can experience a sweet reunion when for all eternity we can boast and shout to the world, “Well done, my precious child!”
Written by Morna Gilbert