“I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4

My alarm went off at 4:30 this morning. I pulled on some clothes and headed downstairs to pack a cooler with bottles of water along with the turkey sandwiches and chocolate cookies I made last night. My son, Christian, was getting an early start on the 14 hour drive back to school today.

It was such a gift having him home this summer, and my husband and I enjoyed every minute of what might very well be the last time our boy, who is a man now, will be back for that long a stay. By now you can probably sense the nostalgia setting in and can guess that my heart is heavy and I had to choke back the tears during that good-bye hug. I keep reminding myself that for his entire life I have been preparing him to fly, and yet each time he takes off, my chest and throat tighten up and tears sting my eyes.

So for everyone who knows that feeling, you are in my prayers today. That time of year is upon us when you will be driving your younger kids to and from school again, you will be heading out with the older ones to help move them in, or giving that last hug at the airport. Some of you, like me, will be waving good-bye as they drive off to school or a new job states away. And, I don’t want to leave out those of us who have children gone from our touch but never our hearts, who feel that very same feeling when we think back on those last hugs. Whatever your situation, remember that the Lord is beside you, waiting for you to pray over it.

When I pray over Christian, I am, first, always so grateful for the wonderful young man he has grown to be. He is thoughtful, funny, kind, and very hard working. He is dedicated to being the very best he can be in school and at work. What I am most grateful for, though, is that he is a believer and deeply values his relationship with Christ. So, as I pray for him, and all of our children, yes, I ask for the Lord to bless and protect them, and show His favor over all they do and all they seek to be. But, most of all, I pray the Lord to nurture their tender hearts in faith. I pray He surround them each day with people and circumstances to encourage and grow their faith and trust in the Lord. I pray God fashions a circle of light around them that worldly distractions and the power of the enemy cannot penetrate. I pray the Lord calls each one by name, and says, ‘this one and this one and this one and this one…is Mine.’ Because, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14

Have a great rest of the summer with your kids everyone, and remember to cherish each precious moment before that good-bye hug.

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