At our school we have a 6th grade camp. There are no parents—just counselors and teachers. The kids go off for 3 days and 2 nights. They try some new outdoor activities and have a blast. We've been planning for it all year, but as it neared, I think everyone got a little bit nervous. Kids and parents alike. It's not that we're unable to be separated, it's just that we love these kids and we miss them when they're gone. I admit to being this pathetic parent!
The morning came for the drive up to camp, and everybody said goodbye. I may have texted with a few moms about being a titch emotional. Of course we hid it in from our kids because we didn't want to upset them with our sappy hearts. ;) At least I did.
After one last hug they were off. I drove away from school that morning surprised to find tears filling my eyes. I don't know why I was surprised by the emotional tug since you all know that I pretty much cry over all the things.
My daughter has gone to camp before so this wasn't our first time. And she's not the kind of kid who desperately misses us when she's gone. She's very social, so I knew she would have a good time. I decided pretty quickly the issues weren't about her so much as they were about me. I'm constantly "on" as Mom. I have Benadryl in my purse. I hand out vitamins. There are meals to be cooked and people to be driven, and it never really stops. And all of a sudden one of my chicks is gone from the nest.
I drove for a few minutes before I realized that it was the letting go of control that was hard. Who would watch her? Who would know if she felt homesick? Was she going to have the right food to eat? She has some allergies and I had already worked things out with the camp cook, but still, whenever we're at a restaurant she's always the last one to get a meal because inevitably something goes wrong with her allergy free dish. And I'm always her bodyguard. Her bouncer. Her biggest fighter. You get the picture.
And suddenly I'm not going to be there for any of it. I had to quiet my soul and remind myself that ultimately things go wrong even when I'm "in charge." I'm just there to witness them.
So I prayed. I prayed for her trip, for her class, for the food, for any homesickness. I covered it all, and afterwards I felt such peace. I thought, what a privilege. I get to pray. I have the wonderful advantage of handing my child off to a heavenly father who is everywhere at once. To the angels that are there just for her safekeeping. I've seen God protect her so many times in so many small and sometimes big things. What a privilege we have in knowing Jesus. I can't imagine life without him! Without the ability to pass it all off to him, a quarterback with nimble fingers who never fumbles.
How do people do life without God? If I didn't have a Father to hand my daughter off to in that moment, I don't know what I would do.
After the fact I began to think about how I must not be handing her off to God on a daily basis if that prayer was so mind-boggling to me. I was left with the knowledge that this needed to be a daily activity, not completed once-a-year when someone goes to camp.
Letting go of control is one of my biggest failures and weaknesses. So I was thankful for the reminder. Because sometimes I get so caught up in day-to-day things that I don't even realize that I've taken control back from God once again.
Now comes the hard part: to keep to giving her back to God. To know I'm absolutely not in control even when she’s home. He is.
OF COURSE he's going to do a better job than me. But I tend to think I'm going to do a better job than him. That if I just hold on tight enough and do all of the right things and get everything perfect, it will all work out and she'll be protected. But I can't promise myself that. The only promise I can truly claim is that God is with us. He's with her while she's at camp and he's with us while she's gone. And if something happens he'll be with all of us. All at once. Because he's magical like that. THAT is the promise of God with us. Not perfect or easy, but together.
Do you struggle with trying to do things on your own? In what areas do you need to relinquish control to God?