Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Question.......

There is a book by Marjorie Holmes entitled "Lord, Let Me Love". 

Referring to her children, she prays these words:  "Lord, let me love them enough to let them go."

I suppose most folks who have children are faced with the question of "letting them go" at some point in their relationship.  This can be a tough experience.  And, of course, many parents cannot let go. 

I have been faced with this question in my relationship with my children, and I have to say that, although it is not easy, I have "let go" of one of my kids.  Well, this child is now in her 40s,and there is a grandchild involved, but it has been demonstrated time after time that my involvement in their lives just seems to be counter-productive. Therefore, we have arrived at this point...they are always welcome in my home; always free to call if they wish; but I have exhausted my ability to initiate contact with them.  I don't like it, but it is best for them and for me.  Doing otherwise has been enabling for my child and has led to dysfunction in their lives.

Got any thoughts on this?

21 comments:

  1. It sounds like this can be a very "common" thing...you aren't the only one I have heard lament on this "question". As my kiddos are still all at home...I am watching and waiting to see what those who go before me do. Although...I don't know if there is ever a "right or wrong" answer. It is very individual...as are people.
    Relationships can be downright difficult:(

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  2. Clint it's hard to let go, I speak from experience. My oldest child let me go for ten months about 5 years ago and it was painful. I tried to reach him but it was to no avail. I wrote a letter of apology, I left numerous messages, I went as far as to ask his brother and sister to pass on a message but they both said no if memory serves me correctly and it was one of the best decisions they could have made. I had to give my son the space he needed to find it in his heart to forgive me, when we first started taking again I knew that he hadn't forgiven me yet but we've worked on forgiving one another.

    I'm fortunate that we're now communicating and I've found that since he's become a parent our bond we once had is back and stronger than ever. This is a story with a happy ending thus far. However there was a time where I felt I had to tiptoe around him, I had to watch my P's and Q's, it was like waiting for a volcano to erupt, it could happen at any second or the moments could pass. Today we talk, we really talk from our hearts.

    What I had to do is put my darned ego aside, I had to swallow my foolish pride and I had to accept that I had wronged my son. Not always in the sense of what I said or did, it was sometimes what I didn't do or didn't say. I had to apologize a few times for a few different things and I have had to change my perspective. My son is a man, he is more than capable of running his own life and making his own mistakes as well as learning his own life lessons, he doesn't need a mother anymore, he needs me as a friend to confide in and thankfully as a grandmother who adores her precious princess and loves to spend time with her!

    I'm not saying that we have a "perfect" mother/son relationship, we have what works for us today and for this I am grateful.

    One thing I have learned is to "Let Go and Let God", I finally get it! God blessed me and trusted me with a child of his, it's no longer my job to be interfering (controlling) but I am to be an example to my children, an example that doesn't preach nor condemn. I can love my children unconditionally as God loves me as His child.

    ... I kind of went off on a tangent here but there's no way to describe this to you without the use of words. I hope something in here might help you a wee bit, as tough as it can be hang in there and see what God wants first and foremost, keep on praying for your child and God will look after His own.

    I guess what I'm saying is that God lends us his children, there comes a time in our lives where we have to give them back, sometimes entirely and that's the hard part.

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  3. Thought-provoking post, Clint. I have dealt with just this thing and finally came to terms with lettingm my son and daughter go back in 2003. It happened while I was taking a class called "Introduction to Grief Counseling" and is set forth in a paper I called "A Mother's Grief" but certainly applies to a Father as well. Much too long to go over here but I got an A+ on it and the professor says I taught him some good stuff. So I'll try to scan it into my computer and email it to you if you'd like. All in all Clint, what is boils down to is "releasing yourself from the responsibility for your grown child's decisions, realize you have done all you can do and now just enjoy them as the person they've become and let them get to know you as a person and not the parent." Support them with positive statements and love them unconditionally. We don't have to like what they do or say but we do have to treat them as their own person with full rights and privileges to sink or swim in this world.

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  4. I totally agree with what Dawn said! I just read that and I feel that there is no right way or no wrong way there is a "just is" and today it just is.

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  5. Let go and let God. I, too, have walked this path with my oldest. It's not easy. Nothing worth it is.

    Prayers for you and yours.

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  6. I haven't experienced this so my council wouldn't be helpful. But this I do promise -- to pray for your child and for God to give you wisdom.

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  7. Clint, so sorry to hear this. I hope that somewhere down the road the relationship can be resolved.

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  8. Hey there dear friend. Terribly sorry to hear your heartache. The thought occurred to me as I was reading your sharing that perhaps by letting go, you have let God.I had my kids quite late in life so I am in the place where I am watching and observing others and taking notes. I do know however that God is faithful and that he has promised to reconcile the hearts of the fathers and the children. God bless you real good today, Clint. :)

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  9. Maybe what will happen here is that what is "let go" will not actually be the person, but the problem. Hopefully your relationship will come around in another way. I have a sister who has disowned my parents - and she has 7 kids! I have one daughter whom I would like to "let go" but she won't GO. I struggle with my teens at home, thinking once they get out of their teens things will be easier. I hope I am not still having issues when they are 40! Be strong.

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  10. Somehow this is the circle of life..
    But they ARE always our children even when they old and grey!!

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  11. Clint,
    There is an old saying "let go and let God" and I think that is the only way we can bear letting go of our kids, is to know that God is still working on them.

    Of course, they are probably hopeful that God is still working on me, too. :)
    God bless you ...Marsha

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  12. I have never faced this but agree with Jane.
    Arkansas Patti

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  13. Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. We do what we can for our kids..even to the point of exhaustion. Turn it over to God in prayer. Prayer is our greatest weapon.
    You'll be in my prayers,
    Berte

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  14. It looks like a lot of us have been where you are. It is one of the hardest things to let your children go. Especially when they are going down a road that you know is self destructive for them. But unfortunately we can't control the choices they make. We can provide them with all the tools they need but we can't make them use them.

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  15. Every kid is always a kid, if you are 2 or 45 years old. It doesn't matter...and it is always good to know that you can come or got home and open arms welcome you.

    Have a beautiful start in the new week

    greetings

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  16. Keeping our eyes ever upon the cross and the promise of the cross....standing on his promises not putting our trust in man but only in him.....Letting Go Indeed a place that no parent dares to think or dwell but we find ourselves there many times: Soft answers, turning of the other cheek, living the life of love always, words of life, not allowing the circumstances preach death to our soul, .... John 10:10...hold tight ...the Heavenly Father loves that child more than we can think or dream... He / She was and is God's before we were given the joy of this child.

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  17. My three children flew the nest before their dad passed away. After he went I had close contact with them. They I appreciate had their own lives to live and then the granchildren came in quick succession. I loved seeing them. I moved to Spain as I found my house and garden too big(My youngest son lived there) I only saw him if the need arose and made frequent visits to the UK to see the other two. I came back for good 4 yrs ago and all was well ......until this year, My eldest son who is 46 last spoke to me at the end of March this year, since then apart from 2 abusive text messages(one saying)"I no longer have a mother, my children don't have a grandmother, you will die a lonely ,wicked old woman" The other is unprintable. I know not what I have or not have done, Too many tears have flowed under the bridge but my door is open my phone line is there, I can't do no more. I don't like the situation but I have accepted it.
    Yvonne.

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  18. I think that kid is old enough for you to let go. He's already in his 40's and he's mature enough to do things on his own.

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  19. Dawn asked if I had read this... and I missed it...(maybe she wants me to let go:) )
    Well we have been real involved in our daughters and grandkids lives. We want to be involved with our son's and his daughter...but it's hard... I think I should let you...but I can't...

    We are travelling more...and are not around like we use to so..in a way..we are leaving our kids.....but in my heart... I will never leave them. Sometimes kids can be one big heart ache at times...

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  20. Clint, I don't know why, but it won't let me post a comment as myself, so I'm "anonymous"...
    My baby is just about 20 & I've only had to 'let go' in the sense that I let him leave home to go off to college, but even that was difficult. We have only had one real falling out and that was shortly after he began his freshman year at Harding & it was over a girl (of all things) and it only lasted about a week. It was at that point that I started to learn how to "let go" and yet still be available to him. It strengthened our relationship tremendously.
    I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. I'll be praying for you!!
    Blessings--
    Angela Marie

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  21. Just like the saying goes " 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I think this explains everything. Love is such a wonderful thing and whenever you are given the chance to love give it your best shot.

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