Barely past the crack of dawn I stood in my driveway. It had rained during the night so there was a foggy haze hanging in the woods. Raindrops were still dripping from the leaves hanging overhead. That moist, mossy aroma that I love surrounded me. Normally, this would have been the beginning of a lovely morning.
Instead, suddenly, a pain in my chest gripped me. It was accompanied by anxiety and a feeling of wanting to go back in time. It was the second such pain in the past four days. Feeling myself sway a little, I turned to go into the house; this time breathing in the acrid smell of car exhaust. Pausing, I gazed down the driveway.
As I prayed, the Lord's peace settled down on me and surrounded me like the fog of fear and worry had only moments earlier. But, my chest still ached a little.
Okay, by now you must be thinking, Why aren't you calling 911? Chest pains are nothing to play with? Well, of course I couldn't agree with you more. But, you see this was a "mother's heart pain." Have you ever experienced what I'm talking about, dear friend?
At those hallmark moments in your children's lives, when they are taking those exciting but terrifying steps out into this big, scary world. Their faces are so bright and happy. They're ready to go, can't wait as a matter of fact. As we stand there cheering them on, we slap on the "mother's mask" you know the one I'm sure. The one with the big reassuring, proud-of-you smile. The one that covers the my-heart-strings-are-being-stretched-and-it-hurts face. Trying not to let them see our pain, telling ourselves; This is great. This is what we've been working towards ever since we held they're little hands while they took their first steps. We've been preparing them to step out, into their own lives, to grow up and be independent. But, wait! Independent...of me?
Stop! Come back! Don't go, as I run down the driveway (Only mentally, of course, I do have a little bit of self-control.) My precious baby boy; now six feet and four inches tall, just drove his truck out of the driveway and up the hill. He's driving himself to school for the very first time.
I mentioned experiencing the same heart pains four days earlier. Yes, they ripped at my chest as I sat in the midst of an ocean of other proud moms and dads during Vanderbilt University's commencement ceremonies. My other precious baby, my daughter, was graduating college; soon to be going on to law school. How would I survive these heart pains? Oh, I'll call 911 alright, on my knees looking straight up to Heaven.
Help me, dearest Lord, this mother's heart you gave me is aching. It's going places right along with my children. Places I can't go. So, I stand here feeling like my heart is walking down the aisle with that diploma. My heart is driving away in that truck. My heart is yours Lord. Thank you for the blessing of knowing that while I can't go everywhere they go, You can. After all, now I remember, they really belong to you. They are just on loan to me. Thank You for reminding me once again.
Pour your heart out like water before the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to Him for the life of your little ones. Lamentations 2:19 NAS
Pray this for your children.
And your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21 NAS
And for you, dear one, if you are feeling in the need of peace throughout any stage of your life. Whether you have children or you don't. Wherever you are in your journey. Perhaps you're at the stage where you are feeling your heartstrings stretched toward Heaven, as you have had to say farewell to a loved one who has gone on to be with Jesus. Whatever your particular "heart pain," Jesus knows. He cares. His word provides comfort. Meditate on this.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:6-7
I love you, dear friend. Hang in there. Remember, although we don't know what tomorrow holds, we know who holds tomorrow.
(c) Bonnie M. Evans 2011