Monday – November 23, 2015; John 16:32-33 (NRSV)

32 The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”

We all have to’ let go’ from time to time, but it is not always easy…especially for parents, as it can be hard to watch our kids move out on their own, both literally and figuratively.

Often as our children grow towards adulthood we find ourselves having to practice letting go of our children, and this means even letting them fail from time to time…as this is how we learn some of the most valuable lessons in life: by failing and then getting back up to try and try again!

As single parents, we have been deeply involved in raising our children, many of us having dedicated years of our lives and making many sacrifices to ensure that our children were well cared for and felt loved. This can make it even harder to just ‘let go’ of them, as they move forward in life!

I get a lot more time to myself these days, as my daughter works, has a boyfriend, and is often out and about…while I enjoy the added freedom, this does not mean I find it easy to ‘let go’, I often have to force myself to stay out of her business, especially in terms of her budding sobriety, relationship, job, life, etc. Overall she seems to be doing well managing her life but still…I cannot just stop being her father, ever!

And this is okay, as long as I do my best to let go and just trust that I did teach her some useful life-skills, to trust her own judgement, and to trust that she is in God’s hands. For just as we can never fully let go of our children, because will never stop loving them, so too is God’s love and care for us without end!

This is the good news of today’s reading: that there is nowhere that we or our children can go, where God’s love is not surrounding us, where we are not immersed in God’s grace! This love is always with us supporting us as we deal with the struggles of letting go, and when facing the ‘empty nest’ when it seems as if our children no longer need us. It can also give us hope when they make mistakes and fall, knowing that they are cushioned not only by God’s love, but also by the love we have for them…as there are times when they will still need our help, as the bond of parent and child may fray but seldom breaks.

As followers of Christ we are called to have the courage and the faith to ‘let go’ when needed: let go of our fears, our failings, our guilt, and also to let go of our children, so that they can find their own way in the world. However, letting go is only part of the story, as we are called to turn over anything we let go of, to God’s loving care, trusting that God’s love has indeed conquered the world, and is everywhere we are, trusting that we are all well-loved children of God!

Let Us Pray:

Dear God, thank you for surrounding us with your love, and for the gift of sharing this love with our children. Give us the faith to let go of them when needed, and the strength to be there for them when they fall and ask for our help to get back up! Please help us to be forgiving and understanding of each other, remembering that we are all your children!

Amen

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