Letting Go

The hardest thing for parents can be letting a child navigate the world.

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Posted in , Mar 11, 2015

Young adult daughter and mother

I have lost my sons several times over. Not to death, but to life. Journeys and jobs take them from us all the time, but it is a fact that we as parents must face.

As they were growing up, I always told my sons that choosing a job was easy if they listened to their hearts, “Pick what you love to do and make it into your life job. You will always love going to work.”

Our oldest son did just that. His great love was languages. He graduated with a degree in English and has studied German, Romanian, Russian and Spanish.

He taught English to preschoolers in the Czech Republic, and when he moved back to the United States, he accepted a job teaching English to non-native speakers from around the world. He tells us stories about students from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South America and Africa. He has taught the world!

Terry's text to her son.We’ve always encouraged his choices and adventures but sometimes it can be difficult, and we have to voice our opinions. One time, he received a job offer from an English school in Yemen and was seriously considering it. I immediately became nervous. Who wouldn’t with all the news coming from that region of the world?

My husband and I talked to him about our concerns but let him know that the decision was ultimately his. Eventually, he turned down the job offer. At right is a recent text exchange about it.

I often think back to that time and the unsettled feelings I held inside. I knew if he chose to go, there was the slimmest possibility I might never see him again. 

Terry's son texts her back.Now, when I watch the news and think of other parents who have their adult children in harm’s way, I pray for those families, especially those who have lost their sons and daughters–the children who have sacrificed their lives to make the world a better place by sharing what they loved.

I pray that God’s loving arms would give these parents comfort.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

When I hear stories of parents who’ve lost their children, I think of those children as my children. I think of what those parents are going through, and I can’t imagine how they must feel.

There are no words to express the sorrow and heartache from the death of a child, and sometimes it’s better not to say anything at all. Just lending a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen will help those who are hurting.

I think about God’s one and only Son, Jesus and how He, too, sacrificed His life because He loved us so much He was willing to take all the sins of the world upon himself so that we could have everlasting life.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV)

It is not easy letting go of your children. You never know when you won’t see them again in this world. But there is always hope. No matter what happens, we will always see our children in Heaven with our heavenly Father. It will be a wonderful reunion.

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