Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
With advent of fall comes the beginning of a new school year. Children are returning to school and young adults are leaving for college. Pictures of the first day of school pepper the Facebook pages, awakening memories of my own children. One of the most vivid being the day we moved my daughter into her dorm room her freshman year. She had chosen to go to our alma mater, which was a 10-hour drive away. We had shopped and packed everything under the sun to put into that 10×10 room that would be her new home for the year. She and her room-mate had meticulously planned who would bring what and there were still more things to purchase when we arrived.
We followed the long line of cars filled with other parents and freshman moving in for the first time. The air was filled with high expectancy and a myriad of emotions. I had been anticipating this day for the past six months with my own mixed feelings. On one hand, it was a special time in my daughter’s life. On the other hand, it was a monumental change in life for me. I recalled the memory of emotions that emerged when I put her on the school bus for first grade. I grieved losing her for the length of a school day, realizing that she would be vulnerable to many outside challenges and influences. Now I was losing her for weeks, even months. She was an independent college student making decisions that would impact the course of her life.
The day was getting late and I knew the moment would come when I had to say good-bye. I didn’t want to do this. How would she handle the freedoms? How would she respond to the temptations? Who would protect her from harm? Leaving my daughter there at the dorm was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I will never forget that final hug and the tears that welled in my eyes, contrasted with the excitement of the new experience dancing in my daughter’s eyes. It was a quiet walk with my husband to the car where we prayed for her safety, her protection and her choices as we began the tearful 10-hour drive home.
Trust – it’s something we talk about, but so very hard to do. It was time for me to release my daughter to God and trust Him to guard, protect and keep her safe in this new chapter in her life. Could God completely protect her from harm? No, but I remembered that He loves her more than me. In fact He loved her first.
In spite of knowing all these things, I began to have sleepless nights worrying about her. This worry created stress, insomnia and eventually distrust. This affected my relationship with my daughter and my relationship with God. I needed to make a change. Then I remembered. When my children were younger, I used to pray the scriptures for them. I would take a scripture, read it and then use it as a prayer putting their name in it.
Take Proverbs 3:5-6 for instance.
Dear Lord, I pray that ______ learns to trust in you with her whole heart. I pray that You will bring people into his/her life that will help him/her acknowledge You and the You will guide each step he/she takes. Amen
Another example might sound like this using Jeremiah 29:11
Dear Lord, I know you have plans for ___________. Plans to protect him/her, not to harm him/her, plans to give him/her a hope and a future. Lord I pray that he/she learns to call on Your name and has the confidence that you will hear him/her when he/she does. Amen.
The power in praying the scriptures not only helped distract me from my worry, but I grew in my own relationship with Christ. As my prayer life grew and I began depending on God for my strength, trusting Him with my daughter instead of letting the stress of worry consume me.
We all share concerns for our children whether they are leaving for college, returning to school, entering into a new job, or facing other challenges . What loved one are you worried about today? Try praying the scriptures for them using their name. It may make all the difference.
Dear Lord, Your ways are not my ways and my thoughts are not Yours. I am so very grateful that your ways are greater than my comprehension. I am grateful that you love those I love far more than I ever could. Forgive me when I forget this and cloud my thoughts with worry. Help me to trust in You with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. Amen