by Jennie McKay


You’ve packed the last lunch, ironed the last uniform, and signed the last form. Still fresh are the grueling days of projects, papers, and pimples. Although you couldn’t wait for those to pass by, you’re now trying to maximize the moments and relish the last days of having your son or daughter under your roof.

When we meet our sweet bundles for the very first time, there is the realization in the back of our mind how limited time is with them. Eighteen years really DOES go by quickly, as you will now attest. Whether or not you feel prepared for this major milestone of sending your baby out into the world, it is new territory, and just like the earliest days of infancy, this new stage requires leaning in to the only One who can carry you and your children through.

I dread the time for my sons to march down the aisle to “Pomp and Circumstance,” knowing I will be powerless to hold back tears. Every graduation I attend reminds me of this, and rather than wallowing in emotions, I pray this prayer for the parents of the graduates:

  • I pray for the mom having to let go of her firstborn, learning to figure out what this new season of parenting looks like. May you know that He is Immanuel, God with you (Matthew 1:23).  Just as He has helped you in the past, He will be your help today and the days to come.
  • For the mom packing up the boxes that will travel to a college dorm thousands of miles away, that you trust the Lord to be your child’s Shepherd, who will care for, protect, and guide (Psalm 23).
  • I pray for the single mom walking into a quiet home, once filled with the sounds of footsteps and laughter, that you seek comfort in El Roi, the God who sees you (Genesis 16:11-14; Psalm 139:7-12).
  • For the mom wondering if she did enough, or is living with regrets, know that God is rich in mercy and love, and He is El Shaddai  – the God who is enough (Genesis 17:1-3).
  • For the mom with questions, anxiety, or fear about the future – know that although the situation seems uncertain to you, it is not to God. He is your Elohim, who is all-powerful and knows all. There are no circumstances in your life that escape His fatherly awareness and care (Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 68).
  • For the mom desiring to provide the means for her graduate to attend college but is struggling to make ends meet, may you experience the Lord as your Jehovah Jireh – the Lord who provides (Genesis 22:14).

May the Lord comfort each of you with the truth that, although this is a season of incomparable change, The Lord does not change (Malachi 3:6). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and He will care for you, and your not-so-little one, with the same devotion that He always has, and always will.

Jennie McKay


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