Raising kids of faith, Starting kindergarten

Not Ours, Lord, But Yours

It is now several weeks into school. I miss my oldest. And I realize this is only the start of letting go.

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on this passage from 1 Samuel, when Hannah brings her little boy Samuel to the temple so that he can live there and serve the Lord the rest of his life:

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28

What was it like for Hannah to release her very young child into the care of Eli the Priest? What was it like to turn around and walk back to her hometown without him? How could it have felt to know that she now would see her son just once a year?

This was the child she had prayed for desperately, waited for year after barren year. And she handed him over so freely.

How could she possibly have let him go?

I know families who have sent their young teens to Christian schools far from home. I know families whose older teens have chosen a life in the ministry that will separate them from their parents for many years to come. I know families with a son or daughter serving in the military. Many parents have relinquished their children in ways that far eclipse my own experience with my daughter.

How could they possibly have let them go?

I’ve been thinking that the answer must lie in how they view their child. They look at their child as Hannah looked at her young son.

Like her, they acknowledge the reality that this child is not theirs to keep. God has laid claim on their child…in the deepest, most real way, this child who is leaving, this child who has left, already belongs to the Lord.

This is true also of my oldest, and her two younger sisters. All three of them are not really ours.

They belong to God.

God is their Creator. He created their inmost being; He knit them together in my womb (Psalm 139:13). I carried them and submitted to the scary process of labor and delivery. But God is the one who put together their unique mix of DNA, who directed the formation of their tiny bodies inside me, who caused them to be born at the right time, and gifted them with their own special personalities and talents.

In love, God didn’t stop there. He is their Redeemer. He looks into each of their faces and tells them: “I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine (Isaiah 43:1).

God paid a very high price for them. He bought them back from the emptiness of a heart set on anything or anyone but Himself, not with “perishable things such as silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

And there is still more.

God adopted them into his family when they were baptized. Their baptisms were not ceremonies of symbolic dedication to the Lord. They were legally binding adoption proceedings, in which the Holy Spirit gave them new hearts of faith, and God the Father declared them members of His family.

These three proofs dispel any misconceptions. God has laid His unshakable claim on these girls.

Though they came from my body and share some of my traits, I did not create them–God did. Though I teach them about right and wrong, I did not pay the penalty for their wrongdoing and buy them back from sin–only Jesus’ blood could. Though my husband and I have birth certificates showing that they share our last name, we do not own them–their heavenly Father does.

This truth refocuses my heart on the reality of my vocation as a mom. God has called my husband and me to be their guardians for a brief time. He has entrusted us with their care while they are here on this earth.

In heaven, we will enjoy being with them, with no more threat of separation. What a wonderful reunion that will be!

But they will not be going there to be our children. They have a Parent who knew them and laid claim to them before He even created the world. When they go, they will be returning, first and foremost, to their Creator, Redeemer, and eternal Father.

6 thoughts on “Not Ours, Lord, But Yours

  1. Thank you for your post Mollie, I have been thinking of this same passage/Bible story these past few weeks! It is so bittersweet watching these littles grow. Silas seems to think he is SO grown up now that he is in Kindergarten… today when asked if he needed help with something he said, “No, I don’t need help. I am a kindergartner!” Lol, so many adventures around each corner! 🙂

    1. I love that story! And don’t their younger siblings suddenly seem more grown up, too? It’s also bittersweet to watch the middle siblings step into the role of big sister / big brother! Love to you across the miles! ❤️ ❤️

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