My ten-year-old son has never stayed overnight away from his family. This March was his first time! He had a wonderful opportunity to go to a Catholic camp for 4 days and 3 nights, with his entire class. He was nervous, excited, and scared all at the same time. I had the same feelings but was on a mission to encourage him to go on this trip. He didn’t realize that for me it was important to let him go.
I am a first generation Mexican-American, from a single-parent home, where going anywhere overnight was unheard of because there were so many things that could go wrong. My mom did not have many opportunities to experience this type of thing herself, so for her she was doing the right thing by protecting me from the dangers of the world. Don’t get me wrong, her intentions were good.
But as an adult, I have suffered because of this protection. It has been hard to trust. When I lost her, 16 years ago, to cancer, I felt my life was ending. She was my best friend! She was an amazing woman who sacrificed her life for her children. I didn’t know what to do without her.
So I decided that my son would explore many things and feel many things in this life even if it was scary for me as his mom. He would be gone overnight, be scared and nervous but learn, after his experience, that he had a great time; that was my hope, anyway.
He survived his trip! He had mixed feelings about it but he went. He missed me and cried but worked through the situation. My prayer for him is that because of this retreat he has learned that God is with him no matter how scared or nervous he might feel. He has learned that God and my prayers are with him when I am not.
Again, I am practicing to trust and let go.
Have you had trouble trusting?
Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Desiderato