February is just a few sleeps away and before I knew it, our eldest child Dana , will be in 1st year high school. Dana came into our lives at the time when I was actively building a career in the banking sector. Two years out of college, I joined the academe and a rural bank that has prepared me for a bigger challenge in the country’s national bank. I was a driven, career-oriented woman with a single focus – to excel in my work so I can lead a branch in 5 years’ time (well, at least to make good of my answer to the common question posed by the HR officer at the end of each interview – “How do you see yourself 5 years from now?”) Then Dana came along, our bundle of joy – the pride of the firstborn! So there I was in my early 20’s – juggling career and motherhood while building a home with my husband. It sounds perfect, but it wasn’t! Everyday is a grace-filled day, up to this very hour!
Dana is a miracle baby. I had to take a 2-week break from work as we almost lost her in my 1st trimester. The birthing process in itself was also a miracle as I thinly escaped paralysis due to an error in the epidural procedure administered by the anaesthesiologist (we didn’t file a law suit and I have long forgiven that doctor) which had me lying down (again) for 3 months, lest go abroad for a blood-clotting procedure (as it was not yet locally available at that time)!
Dana is special not only because that she’s the firstborn , but also because she displays unique learning skills at an early age . She was able to walk and talk at 8 months old and merrily sang along the “happy birthday’’ chorus of her guests on her 1st birthday. Growing up, friends and kin would say she is wiser than her age with the way she nurtures friendship among peers and handles conversations with adults. Dana is different in more ways with our youngest, 7 yr.old Boj, but I would say Boj is also very special in a different way. Truth is, although individually unique, we know our children have already been set apart for a greater purpose. The key is to guide them as we unlock the God-given potentials and make them shine for Him.
Come June, we plan to send Dana in one of the science schools in the country where she was able to pass the rigid admissions exam. ‘’Set apart for a greater purpose” has become a conversation centerpiece of late. ‘’Think of princes and princesses sent off to boarding schools so they are formally trained for royalty and the culture and the arts’’ , I would tell her , and let her know that she is the same. Our dearest princess whom we have taken cared of for 12 years and who is now ready to be launched for greater heights! As a parent, it’s never easy to let go of a child. I realized though, that parenting, in the strictest sense of the word, will never stop at a certain age. For who says we are no longer parents of our children when we become 50? It only stops when we die. But the ‘’hovering’’ stops when we release the child unto God – the maker of our child.
Yes, there are times when I don’t want to let go – or even think about it – but I take refuge in the story of Hannah , who asked and bore Samuel , who became the last among the judges, and the first prophet and counsellor to the great kings, Saul and David. Hannah could have chosen to keep Samuel, the promised child, for her own, but she remembered her own promise – “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” ( 1 Samuel 1:27-28)
Samuel was just weaned when he was turned over to Eli, the priest. Jesus was 12 when he went about doing his Father’s business. We know they have been ’ set apart for a greater purpose’. This gives me comfort in knowing that Dana too, has already been set apart, for she is ‘’God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for her (us) to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
What about you? What keeps you from letting go and trusting God more for your children’s future?
photocredit : sohoparenting.com