Lately I’ve come to notice a new feeling in my gut. It’s been there before, in other forms, but nothing quite like this.
I can can go a few hours without feeling it’s eerie tightness, but then, there it is again. It doesn’t always bring me to tears but sometimes it does.
The knot in the bottom of my stomach isn’t likely to dissipate any time soon. Like a scar is the reminder of a deep cut, maybe it won’t ever fully go away.
The knot in my stomach isn’t unique to me. Generations of women before me have felt the same thing I’m feeling today. Woman all around me live every day with the same knot.
In some ways, I’m grateful for the knot. If I was completely honest with myself and with you, I probably wouldn’t even wish it away if I could.
So, why am I living with a knot in the bottom of my stomach?
In a few short days, our family of six will be taking a road trip halfway across the country, and then will return home with just five of us in the vehicle. We will be leaving my oldest daughter at a ministry school – 1,500 miles away from us. From me. Her mama.
The precious daughter I carried for 9 1/2 months in my womb. The one I endured 16 hours of labor to see her precious face. The girl that broke me into mamahood.
My firstborn child that helped me start losing my arrogant, “I will never allow my children to do that,“ judgmental self. The one that paved the way for how we would parent and discipline our little mini me’s… now four in total.
Nearly 18 years after that beautiful afternoon that became the first day of the rest of my parenthood life, it’s time to transition my baby into the adult world. How does this happen?
So many have gone before me. So many have paved the way for mothers all over the world to know that, though this season is tough, it is doable, it is survivable. In fact, it can be downright amazing, if you just learn to embrace the knot in the bottom of your stomach.
Because, though yes, the knot in the bottom of my stomach is full of sadness for me. It also is full of joy for my baby girl.
My girl has been transforming into a powerful and beautiful woman for a while now and this is the next phase. I would never want to hold her back from all the potential that is in her.
Her dreams and potential are leading her far from home… at least for a season. And that’s ok.
It’s OK because she has been created as her own person. She was created with gifting, purpose, and destiny. She was created to impact the world around her – wherever that might be.
I have had the gift of her life from the beginning of her days but now it’s time to share that gift with the world.
And yet… today, with this knot in the bottom of my stomach, I feel a bit selfish. This knot can urge me to hang on a little too tight. But I can and I will choose to be generous. I will choose to let go though this knot within me wants to hold on.
I will embrace the fact that I will probably, from now on, be living with a knot in the bottom of my stomach. Because I have three more daughters to live through this season with. And this season doesn’t stop with leaving my firstborn in her new apartment. This season transitions into one of each daughter going away to school, each one meeting their spouse which means four weddings, new jobs, first home purchases, and, in a blink, grandbabies.
Yes, this moment of preparing to leave my first baby at school a million miles away from home has left a knot in the bottom of my stomach, that might lessen with time, but probably will never fully go away. Especially since I’ll be taking this grownup daughter’s baby sister to her first day of preschool in just a couple short months…