I wrote this post four years ago as my oldest was entering her last year of elementary school. Monday she will begin her freshman year of high school and the “letting go years” will begin. I am also launching my two younger children into kindergarten and first grade. Mommas of littles, you may be fearful of sending your children to school. I pray you know that God delights in them and has good plans for them.
Tomorrow I will officially be the mother of a fifth grader, and Brienne will walk down the school hallway for the first day of her last year as an elementary student.
In my mind, I still see a tiny red-head in her uniform shirt and skirt heading off to kindergarten, fearful of the unknown but excited all the same. Then, through tear-filled eyes, I see her sitting in her first grade classroom just a few weeks after moving to Tennessee. She didn’t know a soul, yet she couldn’t wait to meet new friends. And now, as I look at her, I see how much she has grown and changed over the years. I am proud of who she is becoming, but at the same time, I yearn for the precious innocence of her younger years.
Will this be the year when her friends replace me as her closest confidante and she stops telling me all of her secrets?
Will this be the year when she stops talking nonstop and asking a million questions a day?
Will this be the year when she stops saying “I love you” six times before she leaves the house each morning?
Will this be the year when she no longer wants to snuggle at bedtime and doesn’t want us to tuck her in or check on her during the night?
Will this be the year when our sweet Brienne grows up?
Will I even notice the subtle changes that take place this year? Or, somewhere in the future, will I look back on this time and be astonished at how she has changed?
Some of you may be sending a precious child off to kindergarten this year, and you may be thinking that fifth grade sounds so far away. Trust me – it’s not. It’s just around the corner.
Others of you may be saying, “Fifth grade is nothing! Wait till your baby is a senior in high school.” And I know that moment will be here all too quickly.
But fifth grade is not “nothing.” In fact, every milestone is something to celebrate.
Tonight I am praying that Peter and I have given Brienne a good foundation as she ventures into this next phase of growing up. Scripture tells us that we should raise our children in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it. But have we taught Brie the things she needs to know? Does she understand the importance of being a reliable friend? Does she have the wisdom to make smart choices? Can she exercise self-control? Is she secure enough in who she is as a daughter of Christ to stand up for what she believes in? Does she even know the difference between right and wrong in this ever-increasingly-gray world?
I want Brienne to know that she is God’s masterpiece. That He has created her as a new person in Christ Jesus, so that she can do the good things He planned for her long ago. (Eph 2:10) I want her to truly believe that she is a masterpiece. Can she grasp that? How can she, I wonder, if I can’t fully grasp it myself.
I want her to remember that God has a good plan for her life. That He loves her and is constantly drawing her near. But will she hear His still, small voice? Or will she miss it amidst the chaos and noise of the world?
As I reflect and pray over all of these things, the Lord gently reminds me that He is in control. He knows the fears that I keep buried deep in my heart. And although we are far from perfect parents, Christ can use our imperfections and turn them into something good.
I am thankful that He holds my children in His hands.
He is with Brienne and will show her His ways.
He delights in her.
Thank you, Jesus.