Here it is, mid-May, and I’m going back and forth between reading news on Meghan and Harry’s baby boy and remembering this time last year when two of my three kiddos graduated high school.
Planning a graduation is in many ways like planning a wedding. Out of town guests? Check. Cake and a party? Check. Lots of bittersweet tears because really, weren’t they just in kindergarten ten minutes ago? Check, check.
In addition to recalling all the planning for my sons’ graduation, I also remember spending a fair amount of time in the land between Done and Should Have Done. In other words, I wondered then (and still wonder now) what opportunities I let slip and teaching moments I missed. I know I’ve messed up more times than anyone can count, but I also know that it’s my mess that reminds me I rest not in my perfection but God’s perfectly kept promises.
When it comes to my children, it helps also to rest in Lysa TerKeurst’s wise words: “Don’t take too much credit for the good or the bad.“
Once again, I say, amen.
I know this, but if I’m being honest, I know regret, too. So, I offer this prayer to God for myself and for all the mamas witnessing a milestone graduation this month. I offer it for each and every mama who wants to have both a proper perspective for past regret and hopeful encouragement for the future.
Dear Father in Heaven,
Shine Your light on every regret in the shadows, and show us how to give every crumb of it over to you, once and for all.
Turn every wish for a do-over into wonder for Your grace that fills our gaps.
Lord, only You know how many meals we’ve made, how much Chutes and Ladders we’ve played, and how many big decisions we’ve weighed. Give us peace in our todays about the choices of our yesterdays and Your wisdom in the choices of our tomorrows.
Lord, only You see all the miles we’ve driven, the attention we’ve given, and the arguments we’ve forgiven. Help us know we’re seen and loved by You and by our children.
Lord, only You can count all the hours we’ve spent sitting in stands, held hearts in our hands, and braced for doors slammed. Give us fresh eyes to see the good that came from the struggles.
Only You can fathom all the late nights we’ve fretted, the conversations we’ve dreaded, and the behavior we’ve hated (theirs and ours). If we’re holding onto words and actions that need letting go, give us the courage and ability to do so.
Thank you, Father, for every hug offered, every question pondered, and every struggle uncovered. We thank you for it all because we believe you use it all and that none of it is wasted.
Like emerald and ruby gems in a jewelry box, may we treasure the love we’ve shared, the laughter that repaired, and every brave act we dared. Help our children to look back with fondness and help us to look forward with hope because of those moments.
Refresh our memories with all the times we showed up for our kids in the past and guide us on how we can best show up for them in the future.
Please give our children Your keen discernment in this next phase of their life, and thank You that Your presence goes where ours cannot.
Open our children’s hearts to You more and more each day, and may they make others want to know You more.
Turn any grieving we feel over this season into grace over our children.
We thank you for the love of Jesus that is a covering for any mistakes and the foundation for any success.
We love you, Father, and we thank you for the precious gift of these children. Be with them as they string together their song’s notes hour by hour, day by day. May they care most about singing it for You.
As much as we love them, we thank You that You love them more. Give us eyes expectant to Your good in their future — and ours, too.
We love you.
In the mighty name of Jesus we pray,