Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Reel, the String and the One who Holds the Kite

Thoughts on our children as they become adults.

This week we celebrated my daughter's 25th birthday, and as I contemplated the day, I couldn't help reminiscing back to her birth; reliving all the unique emotions entwined with those first remarkable moments.

…Her extreme vulnerability and the beginning of that soon-to-become-familiar contest between fear for her protection and trusting the Lord, with each phase of her growth and maturity.

Flying a KiteWatching your child develop into their own person and enter adulthood is a constant lesson of letting go, at every step along the way. Any parent will tell you it's not easy. …Like letting out the string on a kite—little by little—so it can really fly.

Not to belabor the kite analogy, but I've flown a fair amount in my own childhood, and I've noticed if your supply of string is large enough, your kite can travel so high that it's barely a bright spec of color against an azure blue sky. The pale string seems to curve into nothingness—but you know it's still connected to your kite because you feel the tug on your reel.

I think as parents, maybe especially as moms, we will always feel that "tug" on our hearts as our children grow, and—like the kite—move further outside of our reach and sight.

That's where the trust comes in.

Knowing that we're not "letting go of the string" to commit them to some wild current; sending them flailing through the atmosphere. But we are handing off the reel to the One who will always see the kite—always know where it is—even when we cannot.

Furthermore, He made the kite and knows exactly what it can do, and how it can soar to its full potential.

I'm extremely grateful to this One—the Lord—who is trustworthy. I'm grateful for that One to whom I can hand off, not just the burdens for my loved ones, but also the tether-to-worry that I sometimes find myself clutching in uncertain times.

The Apostle Paul had to push through many difficult times during his ministry, but in a letter to his "spiritual" son, Timothy, he spoke of that kind of trust and the "burden hand-off"…

"For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day," he said in 2 Timothy 1:12.

So, as I anticipate this next phase of life for my adult-age children, and all they may encounter, I know the One who holds them and will never let them go… and I trust Him.