• Stephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC

Change is Hard


“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)

Change is hard. Yes, I know, not a very profound statement. I think just about everyone on the planet knows that change is hard. This is no big surprise. Last week I shared that I was feeling a little “blah” after all the excitement of my daughter, Sydney’s wedding, and the events leading up to it had subsided. This was true. However, after careful introspection and time with the Lord, I’m learning that the “blah” was tied to me feeling very acutely the new changes in our family. Leading up to the wedding, as is typical, Sydney and I spoke daily, sometimes several times a day with so much to get done. Under normal circumstances we touch base weekly, but nothing like the weeks leading up to the wedding. It was an unexpected gift to get to really “mother” my girl one last time before she became Isaac’s wife. I will forever hold these days close to my heart. Also leading up to the wedding there were more conversations with my son, Cody, about suites, tailors, travel, and schedules. He’s been on his own for almost a year now and I miss having him in our home, so I wanted to help him navigate these things. Not many young men in their twenties are keen about long conversations with their mom, so this too was a special gift. Seeing Sydney, Isaac, and Cody together at the wedding gave me a sense of pride that is hard for me to put into words. They are each such fine, unique individuals with good hearts. They’re definitely not perfect, don’t let me try to oversell them, but they’re mine and I love them. Driving home from the wedding weekend, however, it was clear to my heart that they really aren’t mine. All three of them are God’s kids and he has special plans for each one of them. This new season is just the beginning. I felt so wise and enlightened as I tried to imagine what this next season would hold for the three of them. Sydney and Isaac learning to live together, now sharing all of life. Cody continuing to make his way and wondering what relationship might enter his story down the road. It was so great to dream for them with such hope. Two weeks later the “blah” set in hard. Why?  Ugh, because even good change is hard.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)

All the good things I believe for Sydney, Isaac, and Cody are still present. However, what I’m realizing is I am no longer a central figure in this season and it’s hard to let go. The phone calls and texts have significantly faded as Sydney and Isaac spend time leaning into one another, which is how it should be. Cody is back to an independent young man who checks in with dad more than mom, which too is how it should be in this season. As parents, many of us pray diligently for our kids to grow up to be strong, healthy, independent adults. But let me share a secret with you. If this prayer is answered, your heart will be pierced in the most bittersweet of ways as you are required to let them go. My kids are becoming more amazing adults than I could have ever imagined, which means I now need to fade into the background.  This is what God has been reminding me this week. I will always be their mom and always be available anytime day or night, BUT I am no longer their go-to person. As I type those last words I hear God’s whisper, “Are you ok with that?” Truthfully, if I thought they were really on their own, probably not. However, I know and cling to the fact that God loves each one of them far more than I ever could. And now that I’m being “lovingly” nudged from my place of authority in their lives, God now has FULL access to their hearts and lives in a more profound way than ever. He will care for them, love them, guide them, and be there to answer the deepest needs and desires of their hearts, which is not something I could do anyway. So today, I surrender.  I will always carry within me the glory of being a mom, but I cannot dwell on the past and what once was my role. I will cherish it, but I will not idolize it. This allows me to now focus on the future, to let go of the “blah” and fully embrace what God has next not only for my kids, but now for me as well. For Your Reflection… What “good changes” are you struggling with right now? Talk to God about it. He will meet you in the midst of it and lead you forward. Trust him.

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