Dropping My Third Son Off at College

Tonight is going to hurt.

In a few hours, we are dropping off one more of my children at a university dorm.

Moments like this are bittersweet. I love my son, and I am proud of the man he has become, but it has been a long journey to this day. We have struggled, prayed, cried, shouted, and worried as I am sure most parents will admit. Being a good parent does not come easily, and some children are more challenging than others, and that is what makes this day so bittersweet. It was a long road, but we are here and filled with joy for him.

One lesson God is teaching me over the past few months is simple and probably sounds elemental to many people. I still want to share it today. At some point, we must unleash our hands and give our children entirely over to God.

When they were tiny, it felt like we had no control. They cry and scream, but eventually, they grow out of that phase. You start to feel like everything depends on you. You provide, you instruct, you set limits, and you are the authority. Then they begin to move away from your control through those teenage years. Finally, today comes. All power is gone, and God takes over completely. Honestly, he was in charge the whole time. Our authority was an illusion, and now I see it clearly. God somehow got us here, and I am sure he will bring to completion the good work he started in my son.

Faith is not just some mental ascent to a set of ideas. It is about letting go of your child, kissing them on the cheek, telling them you love them and then turning to walk away. At least that is what it means for me today.

They say the third time is the charm. They say things will get easier. They are lying. I am dying inside, but I will approach this day like every other. I will ask for God’s guidance and pray from his strength. Then I will walk boldly into the future totally dependent on my creator and sustainer for myself, and my children.

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