As a homeschool family we are often times accused of sheltering our children. And, to a certain extent, this is true. I don’t think that sheltering kids is necessarily a bad thing. There are things that I don’t want my children to learn until I believe they are ready, or until I am there to discuss things with them.
However, I am learning as my oldest approaches the age of 10 that I also need to start letting go. This is hard! Especially, when I am not ready for it. I just packed her up for a week of church camp. This is her 2nd year going, but last year was easier. She went with a group of kids from our church, her cabin leader was a homeschooled teen from our church, and one of my best friends was going to be at camp all week. Plus, I volunteered to work in the kitchen a few days. It was easy. She was going to be “watched”.
This year, she is the only girl in her age group going from our church, I have NO clue who her cabin leader is going to be, and I am not volunteering. Hence, there will be no watching… I have honestly tried to discourage her some from going. Saying little things to her here and there, about how it is okay if she doesn’t want to go. She stayed firm in her decision to go to camp.
The Lord laid this scripture on my heart while we were packing,
“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not” Matthew 19:14.
My thoughts? “Yes Lord I know that, I let them serve you, that is one of my favorite verses.”
Then, she looked at me and said “Mom, I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me at camp”.
My heart melted. I get it now. I was hindering her. Why didn’t I want her to go to camp? Was it because I was thinking of her? Or my own personal fears?
My reasons for not wanting her to go to camp were selfish. I wasn’t thinking of her growing in the Lord while there, I wasn’t thinking of what she may experience, or how God could open her eyes. I wasn’t remembering how she came home last year, on fire for the lord, and with an eye open to missions. I was thinking of myself. Plain and simple.
Parents, whether or not we want to acknowledge it, our children are not our own. They are the Lords. We can hinder God’s plans for our kids by allowing our own fears and worries to come in. God has plans for our children, and He loves them, more than we can even fathom.
As parents, it is natural for us to want to protect our children and we should keep them from unsafe situations. However, we also need to come to a point where we can learn to safely let go, and let the Lord show our children His plans for them. We need to pray and ask for guidance as our children get older, and not just shut a door the Lord may want to have opened to them. We just have to trust Him.
Our pastor shared something that helped him when he allowed his daughter to go on a mission trip. He said,
“The same God who is here with me, is there with her in Costa Rica”.
I just have to remind myself of that while she is at camp. I also pray that the Lord does amazing things for her while she is there!
Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles, /Freedigittalphotos.net