I am so delighted to have Maribeth Harper, author of And So We Pray 1 and 2, Supporting Young Adults through the College Years, as our guest blogger for the next three weeks. She will be encouraging us to pray for our college aged children (and ALL aged children) as they gear up to head back to school. I look forward to seeing you again in September! God bless you, Melissa...
Have you sensed it in the air? Fall is coming… and with it, many young adults depart for college! This weekend and the next are the two most popular “move-ins” ---a fact that leaves most young adults exhilarated, and their mothers in a tearful puddle. At least that was my experience!
We drove four young-adults hours away, unpacked their garbage bags and boxes of “must-haves”, attended the requisite orientations, shared a farewell brunch, and cried all the way back home… well, I did. My husband drove silently, probably thinking about how to pay the tuition (you know, that Lexus we drive off a cliff every year, he says.)
Some mothers return home after the college drop-off to “business as usual.” However, many others find themselves back at home grieving, anxious and just plain sad. To whom do you turn when you’re feeling down? Your husband? A best friend? Maybe both? Or do you just get busy until you forget why you’re grieving?
There’s a better option!
My favorite all-time quote is from A.W. Tozer who says, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Do you think to turn to the Lord when you’re sad? If not, maybe you’re thinkin’ is all wrong… Who is God? Is He a distant, aloof, all-powerful Creator Who has very little to do with you? Or is God our loving Father? Whether or not your earthly father was the epitome of virtue, you can be sure that God our Father is! How do we know? Jesus Christ revealed Him to us in the Scriptures.
Stop for a minute and think of four or five words you would use to describe God. Even write them down. Is the God you described strong enough, caring enough, attentive enough, or wise enough to call in a crisis or to ask for a favor? Do you trust Him enough to care for your college-aged child? For your whole family?
God, our Father, has bent over backward to help us learn to love and trust Him. Our Father answers our prayers by giving us His Holy Spirit. (Luke 11:9-13) How is that enough when life gets us down? “With the Holy Spirit comes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22). The Spirit’s infinite patience kicks in when our homesick daughter calls for the third time in as many hours. We are given immeasurable kindness to deal with a son’s disappointment over midterm grades. We surprise ourselves with a prudent response to a child’s call from college asking for money…again. And, perhaps even more astoundingly, we react with faithfulness and peace when the unexpected happens—an arrest, an accident, or something worse. In the Spirit’s strength, we can find supernatural joy in every trial.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)
God, my Father, my Abba, I praise You for Your awesome power and might and for your gentle and attentive care of me.
More than my husband, Lord, You are enough.
More than my children, Lord, You are enough.
More than my job, Lord, You are enough.
More than any of my life’s circumstances, Lord, You are enough.
Only You fulfill me. Help me to realize Your gifts in my life: the gift of the Holy Spirit who bring me peace, patience, and love; the gift of Your Son who died and rose to take away my sins; the gift of your church with Sacraments that cleanse and strengthen me; and the gift of Holy Scripture through which You reveal Yourself to me. You also give me breath and life, family and friends, talents, and many opportunities to share Your love with others. Praised be Your name! Amen.