In the early 90’s, I started keeping a prayer journal. My first journal wasn’t one with a pretty floral print or feminine calligraphy scrolled throughout or linen finished paper. It was a simple Mead brand 3-subject spiral bound notebook. Although it was plain, it served me well and I found myself learning how to become disciplined in my prayer focus and documenting the truth God would show me in scripture.
Over 25 years later, I have a shelf loaded down with old spiral-bound notebooks full of thoughts, prayers, tears, and joy. I randomly pulled one off of the shelf today and started thumbing through the pages. My heart quickened just a bit and I felt a lump forming in my throat as I read this entry from May 14, 1992. My scripture reading for that day was from Proverbs 17:22 – “A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.” My reflection – As Christians, we have much to be thankful for and great reason to be merry and full of joy – not just some of the time, but always. We have a hope and future unlike any other, and a Savior that is all good and all joy.
Under that scripture and reflection, I journaled what was happening in my life on that day – Today, Clayton goes to Kindergarten visitation; I have dreaded this day for a very long time. I am happy for him because he is so excited, but still, I am selfish and sad because I want him to be here with me. I don’t feel much joy or feeling of merriment today. I guess I am having a pity party. I pray for Your joy to fill me today, Lord, and wash away these feelings of loneliness and self-pity. I know my children must grow up, and this is just one more step in that direction. Maybe that’s the part I dislike the most — knowing I’ll have to let go in a much bigger way some day. Please help me to let go (a little at a time), God, and let go with joy in my heart.
I vaguely remember this but know at the time it was a very hard day and one that I had a sincerely tough time dealing with. I loved both our boys and always cherished the time they could be out of school and home all day.
A few days later, I read I Samuel 1:12-20 concerning Hannah and her son, Samuel. This was my journal reflection – Because of the fervent and sincere prayer of Hannah, God granted her a son. She dedicated this son to God and carried out and honored this dedication all of her life.
This was my journal entry – I have had a very emotional week. Clayton enrolled in Kindergarten on Tuesday and we honored the Senior class in church services today. I realize, before I can blink, we’ll be honoring Clayton and his Senior class. It’s very easy to be selfish with my children and not even want them to grow up or share them with God. But Hannah was a tremendous example, and Samuel became a great man of God. I believe the prayers of Hannah and her ability to let him go and grow was a big part of why he became such a godly man. Father, I pray you will help me to begin to slowly let go and to love these children (who are yours) in a way that only a mother can, but at the same time, entrust them into your care and allow them to soar. Help me to allow them to grow up, unhindered by my selfishness. They are yours – help me remember that.
Yes, my heart quickened just a bit and a lump really did form in my throat as I read these entries all these years later, but for more than personal, sentimental reasons. I’ve been praying for a dear and precious mother concerning her sweet little son starting Pre-K. It’s been hard for her to take that step. This sweet mama loves her children and absolutely cherishes being a mother and staying home with her kids. She’s such a good mama; this child couldn’t ask for anyone to love him more than she loves. Letting go and taking this step is hard and it can be very traumatic. She knows it will ultimately be okay, but it still doesn’t make this step an easier process.
In that same vein, God breathed a beautiful young mother across my path not very long ago who also has some precious little boys. And guess what? One of those boys just started Kindergarten. And guess what? This mama’s heart is torn. She loves her children, cherishes having them all home, and wants to make certain her son is well cared for and completely happy when he is away from her. In the midst of all this, both these women want to raise godly children who seek after God’s own heart. Both of their circumstances are so similar to my own (way back when). Interesting, right? It’s also pretty interesting timing to randomly pull an old prayer journal off the shelf, and randomly read through the entries, right? Coincidence? I don’t believe so.
Here’s what I believe — God knows everything. He hears the prayers of a broken-hearted mother who has fear and dread concerning her children being out of the home. He shelters, protects, and keeps those little rascals safe while they are away from mama. It’s hard to fathom, but He even loves these children more than these sweet mamas ever could. He even prompts someone across the miles (and across the years) to decide to reminisce through some 26-year-old prayer journals at just the right time, choose just the right journal from the shelf, and flip to just the right entry. Why? So she can take that word of hope to a couple young mamas who need to hear – Hannah trusted God with Samuel – you can trust Him too. I did (finally).
Both of our boys, Travis and Clayton, have matured and grown to be godly men with beautiful families. They have their head on straight, their feet firmly planted, and their heart is tender toward the Lord. We couldn’t be more proud or thankful for the men our boys have become. So mamas, take courage and be encouraged — everything is going to be alright. Trust God with your family. God is faithful and true. He took care of Samuel; He takes care of the sparrow; He cares for the lilies of the field; He will watch over His priceless treasure (His creation — your child) too. Thank you, God, for mamas who love their children.
I’d love to hear from any young moms who would like to share their story of Pre-K or Kindergarten. Tell us how you handled it and how your story might encourage others. Also, you may be continuing to struggle with anxiety concerning your children (whatever the age or stage); I’d love to be able to pray with you about that. Please feel free to leave a comment, send me an email, or visit the Prayer Partner page on this site and leave a request. God sees. God knows. God hears. God cares. God is able.