Sunday, July 17, 2011

"How Do I Let Him Go?"

I received an email recently from a mom who was struggling with her son leaving for college this fall. Since she knew both our sons had been in college (Jeremy 2010 APSU graduate/Nate junior @ Moody Bible Institute), she simply wanted to know if she was "normal" to feel this way. I thought there may be other moms with the same struggle, so I decided to share part of my response below....

I know exactly what you are feeling. When Jeremy left home to go to college, I had such a hard time. It didn't matter that it was our hometown college. Honestly, before he left most nights I was still going in and praying for our boys before they went to sleep.

I remember at sixteen when Jeremy drove out of the driveway the first time by himself - I said to God "I am releasing him to You, God. I love my son so much-yet I know You love him so much more than I do. Please help him to make wise choices and keep Your Hand upon him." I did this again when he left for college....when he drove to VA Beach to intern for the summer by himself. The morning of his wedding - I walked the beach by myself and did it yet AGAIN. This time not only was I releasing him again to God, but also releasing him to his wife.

And Nate - WHEW!! I've had to release each time as well. And Nate going off to Chicago for college and now spending the entire summer studying overseas has stretched my faith and trust in God even more with my boy!!!

Honestly - as much as I love my sons, I know for them to be the men, husbands and fathers I would want them to be - I have to know that it would be different...that I would have to let them go. I have no doubt whatsoever that my boys love me, but I know that in order to do the job God has called me to - I've got to cut the "apron strings". I want my boys to be MEN!! In doing so - I can be at peace that all the things Ron and I have done to prepare the boys as they were growing up truly worked.

I'll share advice Ron has given me - every time you think about calling the boys...don't! (because I'd think of a reason to call them everyday - several times a day!! haha) If I have something I need to tell one of the boys - I text/email him and don't expect a response unless my message required one.

So just know that I feel your pain...that I'm praying for you...that your heart will survive this because I know deep inside you too want your son to be a self-sufficient, independent young man who makes wise choices...and that God truly does love your son as much as He loves His Son!!!

I'll also pray for God to give you the strength to hold up for your son - it's okay for him to know that you are going to miss him, but he needs to see that you trust God and that you also trust him and the young man he is becoming to let him go....

So any moms that are sending your sons off to college - whether it's in your hometown...a nearby city...across the state...or across the country....I know your struggle! I also know that you want your sons to be godly, independent men!!

Love your son enough to let him go.....

If your son is heading off to college - please let me know how I can pray specifically for you by commenting below....

Only by HIS grace,
2 Cor 1:3-7

You may also want to read a post my husband Ron wrote about mothers letting go of sons. You can read it HERE.


  1. Cheryl,
    My son isn't heading off to college but to Kindergarten; however, I have similar feelings you expressed! I know this is just the beginning of trusting God in a new way! Thanks for your encouraging words. You and Ron have raised two awesome sons, and Bubba and I pray that we can do likewise. In a couple of weeks I will "let go" for the first time of many, but like you said, God loves him so much more than I do!

  2. Kristi-
    Yes - kindergarten is the first of "letting go's".... Thanks for your kind words and I have no doubts you & Bubba are awesome parents because you seek wisdom and strength from God! Know that I am praying for you!!!

  3. Cheryl, I relate to this from the perspective of being the mother of daughters (twins) who left last year for college. Leading up to the big day when we'd leave them there, it physically hurt. Thankfully, they are enrolled in a Christian college where the atmosphere is kind and nurturing. As the time to leave the freshmen came, the President had all the parents, faculty and staff surround the seats in the auditorium where the students sat and we all held hands and encircled them in prayer. It was so meaningful. I had times after we got home without them when it hit me hard that they were really gone to this next chapter in their lives, but knowing they had the Lord with them and knew to call upon Him too made it somewhat easier. As parents, we do our job the best we can, and ultimately that job is to raise the children to go out into the world and find their places. If we've done our jobs correctly, we will know. Does that mean there won't be 'those' days? NO. But it does mean they have a lot going for them, especially Christ and the teachings we've tried to instill. Thank you for writing meaningful blogs.

  4. Donna-
    Thanks for commenting and for giving a "mother of daughters" perspective....our ultimate goal indeed- sons or daughters - is do our part to raise our children to go out and fulfill God's purpose for their life...

  5. With our 21 year old getting married in his new home Alabama, and our 19 yr old son home for a short summer from Biola, the 15 year old working at a camp 2 hours away for most of the summer with little cell service, glad to have our lst 15 year old daughter home still but when some one asked if we missed the boys, both my husband and I had to admit we don't. We are so proud of what they are doing. This is what we raised them for. Glad for texting as we do keep in touch well and not inconvenient. Praise God. Discipleship.
    We lived in Nigeria for 6 years and have traveled pretty extensively. Most likely our children will settle in another country as God directs. Life is short and heaven is forever. We will catch up.
    Nice to be directed here by Ron's tweet.

  6. In the next month I am saying goodbye to my oldest son as he leaves to serve in the Air Force and to my daughter as she moves away to college. My house will be awfully big for my youngest and me. I am proud that they are becoming confident young adults and off to achieve their dreams but it will be a difficult transition, for me as well as my youngest.

  7. DD-you & your husband do have a lot to be proud of and thanks for the reminder of the forever in Heaven! PRAISE JESUS!!!

  8. Patty M-
    Even though I cannot relate directly to what it is like to have a son or daughter serve in the military, I have lived next to an army base all my life. It has given me a deep appreciation for the sacrifices all branches of the military AND their families make my family. Please thank your son for his willingness to serve our country!!

    I will indeed be lifting you up in prayer! Please keep me updated and let me know if there are specifics that I can pray for you while they are gone....God bless you & your family!!

  9. Speaking from the other side, my mom had to fight herself to let me go to summer camp when I was 10. She absolutely didn't want to, but she knew she needed to.

    In all of my departures, she hasn't wanted to but knew she had to. I think this is one of the biggest gifts a mom can give her son.

  10. Jack42 -
    Thanks for your comment. It's great to hear from "the other side..."

  11. A further note....
    For all moms - the times of letting go started when I dropped Jeremy off at daycare when he was six weeks old and the most recent one was when he got married earlier this summer at age 23. I'm not saying it was easy. There were times when I felt like my heart was being ripped out, but I had to keep my eyes on the end goal - a independent, young man.

  12. Cheryl- I'm so glad you have a blog....and I'm so glad that the sending off is quite a few years away for us. I mean I nearly cry at the sending Manny off to the babysitter. ;)

  13. Emily-
    Thanks! And enjoy every precious moment with really does pass as quickly as everyone says it does!!
    Love to you, Daniel & sweet Manny!