Always let them let go first.
I read that somewhere. Always let your children let go of you first, because you never know what they might be needing. It was profound for me when I first read it, and it’s cutting edge hasn’t dulled over the hundred (or so) times I’ve whispered it to myself as the closeness began to linger. In a harsh reality, I believe that time is sharpening those edges as it bears down, honing that response in me, especially knowing that my nature is to pull away.
There are those days when my time has no moments for solitude and I have to tell myself to love close. I know these moments of needing and wanting and just loving out of joy will wane, become fewer and fewer as the days wear away and I don’t want to miss a single second of his heart to my heart, but oh, does it cut on some days.
Why does it seem so hard to do the all-in love some days?
And yet, because we love our babies of every age, our hearts on the outside, we do it… We sacrifice for them.
Sacrifice… an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. We sacrifice because we know their hearts are of eternal significance to their Father, because we love them more than we love ourselves, and that is a worthy, worthy cause.
But really, sometimes it just doesn’t feel good and that thought feels worse, and sometimes, I’m just spent.
You see, I have this son. By grace, He has been given this ability to really, deeply love me. The me that is the most unlovable at times and the me that has been harsh with his heart over the years, and the me that is just often at a loss for how to love him best. He forgives it all, even before the request has left my lips, and reaches again for my heart and my love and my approval.
His nature is not to push away.
His nature is to draw close… And though sometimes it is a sacrifice, I try to fully give myself in each moment of his hugs that push in, trying to get all the way inside, because I know it is there that he knows true love, true acceptance, true comfort. I know, too ... this is, I am, his first picture of Jesus. The One who loves without end or fail, who bears, believes, hopes and endures, the One that keeps no record of wrongs and rejoices in righteousness (1 Corinthians 13), the One that shows us that there is no greater expression of Love than to lay down one’s own life for someone (John 15:13).
I want my loves to trust. ..
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2
And my sweet boy will learn best if he can live it first. He needs to live it where he can be held and hold on, until that satisfied breath that tells the story of peace leaves both of us; as often as he needs it.
So I will continue to hold on just as tightly and for just a moment longer than he does, and to whisper my I love you’s into his ear, even though my heart and voice might break a bit, because I know that time is short; there are only so many more summers, and late nights, and breaths that we will share in his childhood... Only so many more moments that I can point him to the One that will keep him forever. That is worth the sacrifice of my comfort zone, my time, my patience, my own insecurity, and my heart.
So mama, can you hold on until they let go?
I know that you can...
Because He told me that you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13) and that Love NEVER fails (1 Cor. 1:8).
Keep holding on.