One of my favorite family movies is Finding Nemo. I love the way the dad lovingly chases after his son, and goes to the ends of the earth to find him and bring him home. There are many parts of the movie I can relate to, but one conversation in particular between Marlin and Dory has stuck with me. Lately I have been hearing these words over and over in my everyday. In this scene Marlin and Dory are stuck in the belly of a whale, and life is looking pretty miserable. Here is a short piece of their conversation…
Dory: “He says its time to let go. Everything is going to be all right.”
Marlin: “How do you know? How do you know something bad isn’t going to happen?”
Dory: “I don’t.”
And those of you who have seen the movie know Dory and Marlin let go, and the whale spouts them out, and everything is okay. In fact, they end up exactly where they want to be, in Sydney.
Like Marlin, we as parents are given this little gift to take care of, and for most of our child’s life we are the ones calling the shots. For those of us moms especially, who like to have all our ducks in a row; this works out just fine…until that day when the duckling is ready to leave the pond. Or when things do not go as planned, and we do not get the happy ending Marlin and Nemo got.
This year as both my girls are in high school and the older one is in her senior year; I seem to keep banging my head up against this “letting go”. When the girls were younger, I would not have necessarily called myself controlling 😉 or felt like I was holding on too tightly. It was not until recently I began to see just how much I really do need to let go.
In wanting what is best for our children, we may try to influence their choices such as friends, where they go, what they study, etc. There is nothing wrong with this per say. It is our job as parents to influence and advise. Yet I am starting to see there has to be a point where we are listening more than talking. A place where our lives are not quite as intertwined, always suggesting this or questioning that. I am again reminded there is one who does this so much better – the Holy Spirit.
If we as parents need to trust God’s Spirit, don’t our children need to trust His leading as well? And if we are the ones always leading, how will our children learn to hear His guidance, His voice?
I am grateful this process happens slowly, in stages… first job, driver’s license, making their own decisions and choices, and eventually leaving home.
So… my challenge for myself (you can hold me accountable if you see me:) and for you today is to,
Talk less. Pray More. And Let go.
I saw God today, in letting go.
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” – Luke 11:13