Summertime flew by this year! With anticipation for dropping our youngest son off at college, I tried to distract myself from the flood of emotions that were knocking at the edge of my consciousness. Praying for guidance to impart the most important unsolicited advice was at the top of my list. I found myself extra chatty during car rides, and I am sure he was trying not to roll his eyes.
In Deuteronomy 31 Moses passes his leadership torch to Joshua. Moses tells the Israelites to “be strong and courageous”, he then tells Joshua to “be strong and courageous” and in verse 23, when the Lord commissions Joshua, He tells him to “be strong and courageous.” I think of Moses’ courageous leadership along with his mistakes, yet God was with him, revealing His grace and mercy. I wonder if those words were just as much for Moses as for Joshua, sustaining his tenacity for those last few days.
The new adventures of college awaiting my son gave me pause to reflect on my parenting skills. While praying for guidance and protection over this new season of his life, I found myself scrutinizing every decision I had made as a parent. I prayed for courage and strength over his life even as it felt like it was slipping out of mine. How did the years go by so fast? Did I cherish each moment enough? Did I kiss each boo-boo and wipe each tear? As he grew from boy to man, was there anything that I missed?
A few days before the long drive to college, I read the last few chapters of Deuteronomy, praying that my son would be strong and courageous in his next phase of life. My heart was heavy, yet I tried to display optimism. In a fog of worry and fear of parenting failures, God showed me that “be strong and courageous” was not only for my son. He sent me a message as I read the passage from Deuteronomy.
As parents, we can be strong and courageous as we send our children off to new adventures, no matter their age. We need to embrace the strength that God gives us and follow Him courageously. Keeping our eyes on Jesus, seeking Him in prayer, we can walk with confidence. Things may not always go as we planned, yet I have this faith, that God is in control and His mercies are new each day.