A couple of months ago, someone asked me how I was doing in light of my baby girl graduating high school in May. Smiling weakly, I told her I’m doing okay more often than not, but the “not doing okay” parts felt mighty heavy.
If you know me at all, you know this isn’t my first graduation rodeo as my twin sons graduated high school four years ago. But it is my first graduation with the baby of the family, and I find that reality brings with it more complicated feelings. In the words of my good friend Aimée, “Sending your first born off is like picking at a Band-Aid, and then sending your baby out into the world rips the Band-Aid off all together.”
Yep, that about sums it up.
Of course, I’ll miss Faith no more than her brothers. But when she leaves, her daddy and I will be ushered into a whole new stage of parenting known as Empty Nest-dom. All in all, I’m looking forward to this life change as it’s a very good one, yet my heart is tender toward the losses that come alongside the joys.
If that’s you too, mama, I offer you this:
A Prayer for the Graduate and for the Mom of the Graduate
Dear Father in Heaven,
No matter where my child is headed next — trade school, immediate employment, or college — I thank You that Your presence goes with her. Guide her thoughts, motivations, actions, and plans so they’re in line with Yours. Guide her heart to want to follow Yours.
Help her be a light that brightens the lives of those around her, so others may see You around them too.
When my child is stressed and discouraged, give her a hopeful vision of her future and a steadfast spirit in the present. Give her discerning wisdom beyond her still young years for every choice and decision.
Surround her with kind people who are for her, who love her and act in her best interest. Help her to be the same to others.
Give her favor among her professors, teachers, employers, and peers, and help her to be kind and strong.
Thank you that she can’t cross the street without Your presence crossing it with her.
And Lord, when the house feels much emptier than it did before, comfort me and show me Your goodness to come. Help me see my nest not as an empty (or emptier) nest but a changing nest, for You want to fill our hearts and our nests with Your goodness. Help me see and name the good things You still have in mind for me in my new season–Your goodness in the land of the living.
If you’re a mama of a recent graduate who’s flitting the nest, I’ve written The Changing Nest: A Devotional for the Mom of the Graduate just for you. Click here to learn more! And if you’re not in this life stage but know someone who is, feel free to share the link with her as well!