Twice now I’ve experienced being the Mother of the Groom. Because of the coronavirus that has taken captive our world, our second son moved up his wedding date. Earlier this month we witnessed him and his beautiful wife taking their wedding vows before the Lord.

Twice now I’ve experienced the children we’ve raised leaving the nest. This is a fascinating thing, really. To devote yourself to raising your children, to spend the majority of time with them, to imagine their futures–this is what captures the bulk of a young mother’s life. But, one day these children we raise will indeed grow up and create their own lives and families.

Twice now I’ve experienced that weird moment of looking at my grown children, but remembering them clearly as little boys. It’s been a fleeting moment, but it’s happened with both of my grown children so far. Perhaps it’s that concept of “the days are long, but the years are short”?

Twice now God has shown me how family dynamics change at this stage of life. When our second son was married earlier this month, we were joy-filled, yet there was also a letting go, a loss of sorts, a change is really more like it. This change in the family dynamics might mean an empty nest for some; for us, it’s a smaller immediate family sometimes (setting the table for four), and other times it’s a filling-of-the-table-to-overflowing. These changed family dynamics mean we don’t see sons #1 and 2 everyday, but it does mean that when we see them, we gain them along with their beautiful wives and growing families!

Are you preparing now, at whatever stage of motherhood you are in, for the day when you will say goodbye to your children as they fly out of the nest and build their own lives and families? Preparing your heart now will benefit you greatly when this becomes a reality. While this is a natural part of life, I wouldn’t say it comes naturally to moms. In fact, because it does not come naturally that gives us all the more reason to seek the Lord for His wisdom and strength in the process. This helps to glorify Him!

Many times I find that I teach out of my lack. Or my error. This is humbling, but an unfortunate accuracy of my life. Years ago, I didn’t prepare my heart well for this, but God in His great mercy is showing me new ways of thinking about and loving this season of life. He is a God of grace and forgiveness and I cherish Him now more than ever.

Ask God now, even as you nurse your baby or teach your little one how to read, to give you a heart to let go. Let go of your child one day, but also let go of your control now. Let go of your fears. Let go of your demands. Let go of your expectations and embrace His expectations instead.

As you do this, you will find yourself drawing closer to Him, knowing His love more than ever. This will fill you up as other things in your life begin changing. When you’re filled up to satisfaction with God, then you can more easily say “Goodbye” to what was, and “Hello” to how things will be.

And, oh how wonderful things can be! Currently I now have three daughters and a granddaughter in addition to my sons! My heart is overflowing with gratitude. I rejoice in the kindness of God. He is a good Father who gives His children good gifts. May we have eyes to see this.

If you are a young mom reading this, I pray you are encouraged by this view from thirty years down the road. Love your kiddos now, trust them with God, be prepared to let them go, and as you say goodbye one day, be ready to welcome them (and others) back with a hearty hello.

Love, Wendy

Wendy Foulke

Author Wendy Foulke

Wendy is married to Dave and they have three sons and a daughter. The Foulke family has attended Christ the Word since moving to Toledo in 2007. Wendy serves as director of Women of the Word ministries and blogs at reflect-i.com. She enjoys reading and traveling. Her favorite places to visit are the UK and Montana, and she one day hopes to visit Iceland!

More posts by Wendy Foulke