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I think one of the hardest things about launching your big kids is wondering what baggage they will take with them.

Did I give them enough for what comes next? Enough guidance? Enough wisdom Enough confidence and encouragement?

Or will they end up carrying the weight of all of my mistakes? My exhaustion? My insecurities? My misplaced fears?

What will they hold on to and what will they toss aside as they make room for new experiences, new people, new dreams?

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What lessons will they remember? What moments will they forget?

What beliefs will guide them?

It’s bittersweet and beautiful, watching them grow and wanting so badly to rewind and redo and make time stand still.

The impulse is to unpack it all and start again or grab the handle and lighten the load—but that’s not the way this goes.

Time doesn’t slow down for a mama’s tender heart. Big kids move on because they are supposed to move on. This is what we have been preparing for all along. This is the reason God entrusted us with these precious humans—so they could shine all on their own.

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So, we send them off with a big hug and a million whispered prayers, and we trust that God will guide them to the very people, places, and experiences that were always meant for them.

We hope their faith grows stronger and their dreams grow bigger and that they fall to their knees when it all gets too heavy.

Odds are, their paths won’t be as smooth as we want them to be, and there will be stumbles and wrong turns as they sort it all out. But as long as we leave our doors and our arms wide open, they’ll eventually learn that grace is always the way back home.

The truth is we didn’t do it perfectly, and we’ve made our fair share of mistakes along the way. We want so much for our kiddos, and I’m not sure that even on our best days, we’d feel like we got it right.

But we did it with love—so much love—and that’s the one thing they can carry with them, wherever they go.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Lisa Bonnema

Lisa is a freelance writer and editor, but her true passion is encouraging women and sharing her faith through speaking engagements and all things social media. She has been married to her husband Jeff for 21 years and is “a mom in progress” to three strong girls and one giant dog.

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