” 27 I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they<sup data-fn="#fen-NLT-7217a" class="footnote" data-link="[<a href="#fen-NLT-7217a" title="See footnote a">a worshiped the Lord there.” I Samuel 1:27-28 (NLT)
Having children was a deep desire in Dale’s and my life. The doctors disagreed, nodding their heads and saying it might not be possible. I knew that God was greater than anything that “might not be possible”.
I can remember reading the book of Samuel and praying for this experience. We dedicated our daughters to the Lord. We brought them to our pastors before they were a year old and we gave their lives to God, knowing that He is indeed capable of leading and guiding them.
There is a quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson that says, “God gives us Love, something to love, God lends us.”
I have carried this quote in my heart most of my adult life. We are only here for what could be a burp in eternity. Same with those we love. Life is a precious commodity.
The same is true with our children. We only have our children for a brief while. Then they do what we have both prayed for and dreaded, they go out and live their lives. They marry, they have children, they have their own set of joys and fears and problems.
As a parent we are proud of the accomplishments of our children. I personally know that I did not do much, but kept giving them to the Lord. Sometimes, I confess, I wanted to send them to the Lord, during sleepless nights of ear infections and teething. Sometimes when it was chaos to experience them navigating through middle school, and high school. By time college came, my prayers changed, I daily gave them to the Lord, reminding Him that they were His and problems that I may have noticed, I couldn’t take control of and fix.
Fix is what we do as parents when our children are young. They depend on it. We are fixers of toys, of ripped pieces of little paper, of skinned knees. We kiss away their tears, we bandage boo-boo’s, and we put heads back onto baby dolls. Fix is what we attempt when life starts to affect them. They still depend on it, although they begin to repair things on their own. We dry tears over rough days at high school, we dry tears over a break-up with a boyfriend, we comfort over a test that didn’t go well. By this point, we fix by spending a day of playing hooky from school, drinking cups of tea together, by going shopping. It doesn’t cure anything, but it re-centers them.
Both of our daughters are grown. They are in the ‘fixing’ business now. There are times, though, when a phone call comes and you know in your mother’s heart, there is a need. No longer do I need to ‘fix’ something, but I need to listen.These are the most trying times. These are the times when I go back to the Lord, and remember the time that I handed our daughters to our pastors and they prayed over them (and us) a prayer of dedication to our Lord. These are the times when, I remember the day of dedication for our oldest. It was Sunday, April 1st, and as I opened my eyes in the morning, I smiled as I thought of the day. It was the day our oldest was going to be dedicated. I heard in my heart, “Are you truly going to give her to Me, or is this an April Fool’s joke?” I answered and said to the Lord, out loud, “She is Yours’ “.
There are times when I have to be reminded that these beautiful women are the Lord’s. That is when, instead of hugging and wiping away tears and fears, I pray and ask the Lord to be there for them, giving them strength, courage, and wisdom.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)