Sunday, May 13, 2007

A little separation anxiety

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: 1 Chronicles 16, 17, 18 (NIV)

Matthew 19:4-6 (NIV)
4 “Haven’t you read,” [Jesus] replied, “that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female,’ 5 and said for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Good morning!

Yesterday was one of those days – a day that every parent dreams of forever and dreads most of all. Ultimately, we want our children to grow up happy and fulfilled. We run ourselves silly offering our children every opportunity to learn and grow, hoping they will someday become happy and responsible adults. It takes an absolute lifetime to raise a child, but only the blink of an eye to see them go away. I’ve figured out why mothers of the groom cry on their sons wedding day. I believe it is called separation anxiety.

The weather was picture perfect. There was an undercurrent of excitement in the air. Hair, nails and Starbucks® coffee became the theme of the bridal party’s early morning hours. The women looked radiant in front of the floor-length mirror in the chapel dressing room. The men strutted around in their brand new suits and ties. The children (there were eight of them) prepared to make their way down the aisle just in front of the bride. There was one chocolatey milk mess emergency. Pretty little Emily ran around in her underwear and dress sandals while Granny Deb and Pastor Kim worked feverishly to get the stain out, just five minutes prior to the processional march. These are the moments a mother will never forget.

As I helped my beautiful daughter-in-law put on her wedding gown, I couldn’t help but feel sad. She is so perfect for my David, in every way. And on this day, Becca had a glow about her that I’ve never seen before. Yet, someone we loved was missing this moment. Becca’s mother was ill and unable to be at the wedding. Just two days ago, she entered the intensive care unit at a local hospital for emergency medical treatment. It was her wish for Becca and David to go forward with the wedding on Saturday. In fact, she insisted upon it. It was her lack of physical presence that felt so absolutely unbearable. We were both trying hard not to cry. I found myself dressing my daughter-in-law so that she could walk down the aisle to marry our son, and all I could think about was the bride’s mother. I think I prayed harder in those moments than I’ve ever prayed in my entire life. How I begged the Lord to help me hold back those tears – the kind that makes your nose swell up and eyeballs all red and puffy. But I just couldn’t stop crying. At one point during the ceremony, my sweet sister handed me an old handkerchief belonging to my father. Thank goodness for baby sisters who come to our rescue just in the nick of time.

Yesterday, I was the mother of the groom. But in that moment standing in the processional line waiting to walk, I knew in my heart of hearts that I was also the mother of the bride. I walked behind the wee ones and just ahead my Rebecca. I carried our baby granddaughter Madison in my arms, and held tight to the hand of my three-year-old granddaughter Emily. We walked together down the aisle. There is strength in numbers. Maddie Marie was waving to the congregation, and little Emily picked at her nose while their grandmother wept uncontrollably. It is a mysterious moment in time when we realize as parents; we have done all we can do. We hand our heartstrings back to the Lord, allowing Him to produce a beautiful melody that has yet to be heard.

Yesterday, my son took a wife. He left our home and moved into their new apartment. I remember when they cut the umbilical cord at the hospital twenty-one years ago. Breathe, baby breathe! This is every mother’s prayer. There is a separation anxiety that occurs in the birthing process, and it reoccurs in every major life-changing milestone thereafter. Wedding marches are definitely cord-cutting moments.

Separation anxiety is something we all experience in life. I have learned that it can be a really good thing when we know who to look to for our strength. Jesus Christ understands separation anxiety. He knew what it would mean to leave His heavenly home and become the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus willingly chose obedience over fear, and lived out His love for humanity on Calvary’s cross. I can let go and let God, if I’m willing to trust Him completely. Am I?

Do you trust Him enough today to let the Lord of life cut the umbilical cord? Will you hand Him your hopes, your dearms, and your life? Will you give Him your children and grandchildren and watch with amazement to see what He can do? Faith soars in moments of separation anxiety. Do not hesitate to welcome every tear as you hand the Lord of life your heart's song.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

This is my prayer today. I hope you will make it your prayer too. Help us, dear Lord, to gracefully let our children grow up and fly away, knowing that your plan for their life is so much larger than anything we can possibly imagine. Protect them, we pray, and teach them how to depend completely upon you, as they journey back into your Holy presence. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
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