Holding on, letting go

God gave her to me, so when she was itty bitty I held on tight. I swaddled her up and bundled her in. I fought off every bad thing that entered her world. I was supermom in a pair of faded jeans and bunny slippers.

My infant became a gurgly babe.

I held her close. I gave the evil eye to doctors with needles and fought off colds with Lysol wipes and that blue little sucky thing I lovingly referred to as the snotinator. I sang her songs and fed her pureed beets. I pinched her cheeks.

My baby became a little girl.

I had stern talks with bully wannabes and leapt laundry piles in a single bound. I initiated water fights at girl-time sleepovers and made up stories about purple lollipop-stealing monkeys just to hear my daughter’s beautiful belly laugh. I held on.

My little girl became a preteen.

As a single mom, God was our superhero. He swept in and made sure she had food on the table and even a cool bike to ride. He was the perfect father, revealing things in his love for Sam. “I can’t get away with anything,” she’d pout. “God tells you everything.” My grip was steady. Still holding on.

My preteen became a teen.

I fervently prayed and subtly held on to the strap in the truck as she learned how to drive. I tried to counsel her through boys and school. Sometimes I let go when I should have held on. Sometimes I held tight when I should have let go. Brian entered our world and he became a stable force of love. Holding on. Letting go. We walked her through together.

My teen became a grown-up.

Yesterday we stood on the second level of the airport walkway and watched Sam go through security. She looked capable. Competent. But I wanted to run down and push through all the people, “Wait, that’s my little girl! I have to hold on!” But I didn’t. I stood my ground with Brian and we waved and smiled as she went through security to board a plane to Sydney, Australia.

Sometimes holding on means letting go.

And trusting her to the One who gave her to me in the first place.

God, take good care of her please.

Amen

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16 Responses to Holding on, letting go

  1. Susan says:

    Amen…no matter how old they are!

  2. Cindy says:

    Absolutely beautiful!

  3. Debbie Waggoner says:

    And sooooooo many people are praying for you all. You raised her to be an amazing young woman. I think I need to go see her.

  4. Joni Griffin says:

    Oh my gosh, tears…… Love to you in this new season.
    Joni

  5. Anne Peck says:

    and again I say AMEN! I’m not sure the “leavings” get any easier, but the entrusting them into the hands of the Master definitely gets more familiar. And the rewards are marvelous to behold as they launch into their own amazing walk with God! As Mom (and G’Ma) to a multitude, my tears fall with you as you watch her walk away, knowing this is the right thing. And we ponder all these bittersweet memories in our hearts. All is gift, all is grace! This is the toughest and best job I have ever had! I often say to myself when I look at or think of my kids, “Lord, this is the some of the best work you and I have ever done! I am so grateful to have been a part of it and wouldn’t trade a minute of it” (and if you’re a Mom, you know it wasn’t all “pretty”)! We are blessed in all the earth. We love a God who will NOT let us be lost!

  6. Arielle Collado says:

    Awww this is so nice Elsa!

  7. John Mitchell says:

    You bring back memories of an article you had me write for Focus on the Family many years ago when my daughter boarded her plaine. As a young woman may Sami bring you as much delight as my daughter has to us.

  8. Kim says:

    I feel like I know her since I have heard you talk about her on the DivorceCare videos and I have seen pictures of her. You are a wonderful mother and you inspire me more than you know on my journey as a single mom. My son is only 7 but I know God is preparing me to let go when I need to go and hold on when I need to hold on —– this was beautifully written and so heartfelt. She has grown into a beautiful young lady! Praying God’s peace on you as you continue to trust Him with the one who will always be “your little girl.” 🙂

  9. Lorraine Griffith says:

    Tears tears,, I remember of having to let go four different times and still learning to let go they are adults with lives. Oh how it hurts and warms my heart. Prayers to you and Sam

  10. Feeling some of the same feelings with my oldest son! What a precious gift and an awesome journey! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! Much love!

  11. ROC Women's Prison Ministry says:

    Amazing post. My tears rolled on this one. Once a mommy our hearts are changed forever. HE has her in His arms just as He holds all His children forever in His grip.

  12. Jennifer Johnson says:

    Nice post! Thank you for inviting us into your precious moments of letting go. You guys raised an awesome daughter! We love all of you!:)

  13. Magda says:

    Tears… and more tears. I have to let them go too!!!… My oldest Carlos (29) lives in TX, my middle one Jose (26) in Miami, and my baby girl Marisa (24) in Costa Rica… I know your feelings… but more important God does know yours and your heart. HE is with you and is with Sam at the same time. He will continue taking care of both of you as HE takes care of mine and all of us. That’s why HE calls us “His Children”!!!! Prayers to you and Sam. Love you!!!

  14. Great post with such heart! Yeperoni, letting go and holding on sometimes feels like a see-saw!

  15. Terri Laurent says:

    I loved this one! My baby girl just came back from Istanbul as yours was leaving. I’ll be praying for you…and for her. What an amazing thing to be able to let go and watch our little ones go, knowing they are safe in the Father’s hands. I am so proud of my daughter. I’m sure you are too! You done good mama! The fact that she has the courage and confidence to take such a bold step in life is a testament to the job you did raising her. Keep us updated on how things go for her. My son has talked about checking out the Hillsong school. I’m really curious about your daughter’s experience there. Blessings my friend!

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