She was only about 4 months old and I was standing in front of the big sliding glass doors that looked out over the busy road in front of our apartment. I held her and rocked her as she drifted off to sleep. I didn’t want to put her down for a nap, even though that’s what time of day it was. I wanted to savor the moment as she sleepily melted into my arms. I loved the feeling of her soft hair against my cheek and that sweet baby smell. “I wish she didn’t have to grow up!” I thought.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
That was 28 years ago and my daughter is now married. In this new season I find myself in, I have had to choose to release my daughter to God in a way I’ve never been asked to release her before. Releasing those you love can be very painful and it has not been easy for me. But it is what I am called to do and God’s grace is there in time of need.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Release. That is my word for this new season.
As I was meditating on the word “release”, God reminded me that with the releasing of one thing comes something new. He is showing me that I am now RELEASED to do more for him, to write more, and to be more available. With this new season – and this new word – comes a fresh excitement.
I’ve been living my life, striving to be faithful to my calling, searching the scriptures, longing to do things HIS way. God has faithfully led and guided, sometimes in ways I didn’t understand, and often in a way that others haven’t understood. We have received criticism and questioning: “Why are you doing THAT?” “Maybe you should be doing more!” We’ve prayed, offered the criticism up to God, and sought His guidance. At times we have not understood his path for us, and have often had to fight the temptation to focus on the approval of others, rather than on the approval that matters most: God’s approval. Finally, we have continued on the path we have been convinced God has put us on. Choosing to ignore the criticism and the questions. Looking straight ahead with God given goals in mind. Counting the cost.
I will never regret the seasons when there have been, what appeared to be, limitations. Those important years that I have needed to focus on my family so that God could accomplish what we knew he wanted to accomplish. I’ve loved those seasons. I miss them. I wouldn’t change a thing!
What season are you in? Do you feel like you are limited because your children need you in so many different ways? Are you longing for more, to use your gifts and abilities in the way you did in the past, or in new and bigger ways? I understand how that feels.
With every season there is something that we have to give up and something that we gain. Release and released. What have you had to give up for this season? What have you gained in this new season? Precious children to nurture? A house to prayerfully and creatively transform into godly a home? A husband to serve and love? Little people that you have the privilege of pointing to Jesus?
Release and released. Pain and anticipation. Loss and gain. It looks different in each season, but I think that if we stop and focus on all we have gained in the season we are in, we will be able to walk through our days with grateful hearts rather than with longing hearts.
A dear friend, 80’s years old, recently counseled me with these words, “There are a lot of “releases” in life. It’s all about entrusting all to Him and moving on with what He has for you personally. Asking the Lord, “What do you have for me today – and every day.” He is sovereign. He has in mind how he is dealing with each of his children, for his pursposes. He is preparing each of us for eternity. This the classroom, only lasting a short time, as a breath in light of eternity!”
I miss my daughter being in my home. I miss poking my head in her bedroom door at night to tell her goodnight and that I love her. I miss sitting with her in our pj’s, drinking coffee in the living room on Saturday mornings. I miss the feeling of having our little family unit safe in their beds, under one roof each night. But if I focus on that, I am focusing on what I have had to release. On a daily basis, I need to choose to focus on what I have gained – what I have been released to do. A new season with my husband. A wonderful son-in-law. New opportunities. New ministry. New relationships. And best of all – a different and deeper friendship with my married daughter!
Let’s spend some time today asking God to show us what He has released us to do in the season we are in, and then let’s purpose to be faithful with what we have been given in the present!
Thank you for your blog post. I actually just got through reading your devotion in the summer Edition Book of Prayer. I am in a transition season and was certain of the direction I needed to go and then our family was rocked with a tragedy. Now we are all trying to regain our footing. God is doing a deep work to heal and move us forward. So thankful he is our foundation. At the moment though, it can feel so uncertain and having been so sure before now I am not. Thank you for the reminder that releasing (even without control or choice of what to be released) is always into the hands of our Father.
Thank you for sharing, Crystal! I am so sorry that your family is facing such a difficult season! Take your time regaining your footing and allow God to do His work. My family went through a “rock your world” transition a few years ago, and it took much longer than I wanted it to to regain our footing! But God has done SO MUCH during that time. I’m finding that most of life is really made up of “blind faith” as we follow Jesus! One step in front of the other. One day at a time. It can be so hard! It causes us to rely on him a little bit more each day. We are in this together!!! Keep clinging!!
Thank you so much for these words of wisdom, Gina! I really needed to hear them as I’m in a young child season where I feel unseen and long to do more outside my home. Thank you for the reminder that this is a season to be treasured and to focus on what I’m released to do in it.
Thank you for sharing, Tara! And for your teachable spirit! We all occasionally need to be reminded to live in the moment! Even me! In fact, just yesterday I had to be reminded! It’s a one day at a time choice. I am also finding that, like you, most of what I do is “unseen”! But I am called to persevere to the end. I am promised that God sees and that is what matters. What a battle, huh!?
Just wanted to say I have felt frustrated a little-lot. I am in that season where there are many limitations, piling needs and future to consider.
Thanks for the encouraging words to know that is the season I need to be in. If the Father in Heaven wanted me to be or something else, I would “be” there now.
Thank you for sharing, JC, and for your honesty! With each season there are limitations. I find it easy to focus on those limitations and not on all that God has freed me to do in this season. I guess that battle will be in my heart forever! I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit and God’s Word that prompts and reminds me to focus on today!
I love this! In this season I’ve had to release my part time job. I’m being released to really focus on my primary work, to give my family my best energy and savor this season with littles that everyone says flies by.
Yes! I love that! Good job! And, it really does fly by, even though the days can be long!
So glad I was able to read this! Thank you for sharing with us! I’m struggling with trying to please man and really rooting myself and my identity in Christ and His calling on my life. Having 3 children one that is strong willed and super active can honestly feel so draining and like I’m doing something wrong. Trying to remind myself that I truly am the best momma for these babes and through Christ, we’ll survive this season.
Yes! You ARE the best momma for those babies! You will be given what you need, one minute at a time, to persevere in this long-haul calling of motherhood! Keep clinging to HIM! Thank you so much for sharing, ElEna! We are in this together!
I am so thankful for you as our mentor, Gina! God has released you to minister to so many moms and it’s been an absolute blessing in my life. For this season I feel stretched and overwhelmed. But I am trying to look around me with gratefulness for what God has given me especially in my children. I know they will not be in our home that much longer (less than 10 years). My heart is to pour into them the love of Jesus. I am asking Him to help me show compassion, understanding and grace.
Thank you for sharing, Shonda! And THANKYOU for your encouragement! Your desire to do what is right and to persevere in your calling is such an encouragement to me! When we persevere in our callings, even in the overwhelming seasons, we are telling the world that He is worth it! That Jesus is worth following! That He is more valuable than any temporary enjoyment! Our perseverance encourages other believers to persevere. And it is a testimony to our children! God is working through you, Shonda! Be encouraged!
Thanks for your encouragement, Gina.
Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s a reminder and a source of strength. I am a mom of 3boys and finally a girl .
The girl is just a year and 2months younger than her last brother, sometimes it’s not a funny experience, knowing that the first 2 had my maximum attention for 3years before the next person came.
I just keep encouraging myself to do and be the best I can for every situation. Also I’m a believer that God never allows circumstances bigger than our strength come our way, problems gravitate towards their solution… I am the solution, so I tackle the challenges and solve them. Also, motherhood in itself is a ministry that shouldn’t be looked down on to take up more ‘announced’ ones. I still engage in fulfilling my ministry despite the increased demands in my family, God’s blessings (children) shouldn’t become an excuse for me, I pray and God shows me ways I can do whatever it is I have to do.
Thank you so much for teaching us to release some things for the the things we need presently to be released to us. This is the stage I’m supposed to be now and I choose to enjoy every moment of it.
Thanks for your comment! I loved what you had to share! Yes! Motherhood is a ministry! A 24/7, long haul ministry! Keep clinging!