A friend of mine went through a rough year recently. Her middle daughter was off at college and came home before finishing the semester, as she was crumbling under the pressures of academia. The pressure was so great that she was experiencing severe depression. With her return to home and some counseling, she was able to get back into the college scene by taking a few courses at the local community college. She did well with that, praise God.
But now, the next academic year is looming and my friend’s daughter is able to pick up her education at her original college. I immediately wondered, “How well will she do back away from home, taking a full load of courses? Will she be all right? Will it be too much for her? What if she succumbs again mentally, or experiences physical results of the stress?” I didn’t want to be that blunt, but I asked my friend how she, herself, was dealing with the idea of her daughter’s return to campus.
My friend said she has had lots of time to think about that and has had the blessed realization that many people are praying for her and her daughter. It reminded me of the old hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus: “Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”
But, she added, it goes beyond just praying. She learned she needed to let go and trust God with her daughter’s life. “When I really thought about it,” she told me, “I realized that no matter what, Susan is in God’s hands. There is no one, not even her mother, who can take care of her better than God. So why should I keep trying to ‘fix’ it all? I can’t do the job that God is doing and will continue to do. I will trust Him. I remember Jesus’ words on the cross, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.’ (Luke 23:46); whenever I am tempted to worry, I repeat ‘Father, into Your hands I commit my daughter.’ I KNOW that I can trust Jesus to take better care of my daughter than I can myself. I just need to remind myself of that and let Him do it.”
As a result of learning this, my friend has experienced the “peace of God, which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Eileen Gaugler says
Thank-you for that encouragement! I can so relate to the story you shared. I was so overwhelmed with grief over my son’s lack of interest in life, his bad decisions and loneliness. I was moved one night not to pray anymore for change but just to sing “I Surrender All”! I too have been at peace about his life since because it is in God’s hands not mine!
Amen from all of us sending our kids to college. Thank you for this reminder!