“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, are children born in one’s youth.” Psalm 127:4

I watched through the pouring rain as my daughter walked away from the curb hauling two large suitcases. It was a milestone moment—Mama had no tears.

I had dropped Jenna off at the international terminal multiple times before as she traveled to Guatemala as a short term mission worker during her college and post-college years. She’s now a full time missionary doing orphan care in Mexico. When I dropped her off in the past, I couldn’t drive away without crying and worrying about her safety and nursing my own heart. She has an extra special place as my only daughter and firstborn.

Instead of tears this time, there was joy. Jenna is a seasoned traveler now, so I don’t really worry anymore. The personal growth she’s developed on the mission field gives me peace knowing she’s healthy and happy where she is. The passion she has for orphans and her relationship with Jesus Christ gives me assurance that God’s taking care of her when she’s out of my reach.

“Like arrows in the hands of warriors are children born of one’s youth” Psalm 127:4 says. God’s word is timeless and powerful to meet every need of life, including parenting. Psalm 127 instructs us that children are designed by God to be released into the future He has for them. Preparing them includes fledging their arrow. To fledge is to put feathers on an arrow, to equip them to fly.

This is our mandate as parents—we’re supposed to get them ready, to give them strong feathers for flight. Then we are to release them.

I appreciate the imagery of warriors that God uses for parents. We defend, protect, and equip. When we release, we’re to be strong. Raising kids is for warriors, not wimps. Raising them to be equipped for the world outside of our quiver is God’s call.

Strong warriors release arrows so they can fly far, wherever God takes them.

When Jenna chose a university far away from home, God convicted me it was just a stepping stone to overseas work he was calling her to do. The wimp in me wanted to pull her back in my quiver and say, “no way.” But as a Christian mom, I had to face the fact if I was raising my kids to love and serve Jesus, it meant I had to get out of the way and give up my mom-rights. I couldn’t keep them close because it felt best for me.

The moment of no tears that rainy day meant God was strengthening me as mom. It’s something you do over and over again as you let go of your kids to God’s care. God’s word is sufficient to meet our every need, too. It’s on His truth we stand as warriors who let go, again and again.

For more on everything in the fledge stage of parenting—letting go, mom grief, identity, facing midlife, and everything in between, get Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind. Jim Daly of Focus on the Family says it’s filled with “sensitive, biblical wisdom for moms who want to help their children launch well.” It’s available online and at major retailers. Join me on Facebook for our upcoming Fledge Parenting Forum, and on Instagram, Twitter, and at the Life Beyond the Picket Fence blog at brendayoder.com

Listen to Brenda’s podcast interview about “Fledge” with Whatever Girls Founder and Executive Director, Erin Bishop, HERE.

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