Let Him {FMF: Follow}

I remember the way he would stare up at me, cradled in my arms, his eyes fixed on my own. When he was two, the patter of his tiny feet seemed to chase my every step. At four, he’d clasp his fingers around the shopping cart and trail beside me, too much a “big boy” to ride inside. He was tentative, cautious, and always mindful to follow my lead.

At five and a few months, I held his hand in mine and walked him to all-day kindergarten. Far too soon the day came when he said it was okay to drop him at the curb. I didn’t need to walk him to playground anymore. In a blink, he is blowing me a kiss as he runs off, brave and unashamed, to the Junior High Study.

We’ve done this beautiful dance, him and I. His steps have followed mine and my own have trailed his. And every time he moves further ahead than I would like, my heart tugged by its strings, I’m reminded why we’ve been so careful to point him in the right direction – so he would always know where to go.

FMF Follow

We’ve taught, trained, and instructed. The rules made clear and our desires known. He’s been prayed over and under, covered in God’s word, and he has received Him as his own. His toolbox is full and the work is set before him. Now, he chooses the path to follow.

And he’s always been the rule-follower, the teacher-pleaser, the kid with gifts to help and serve. He is eager to spread his wings and seek out his way. The leader inside him cries out to chart his own course, to shine bright his light, to prove that all that has been poured in, is ready to be poured out.

Today he toured his new middle school. Everything inside me screamed to follow him there, to watch from the sidelines, to usher him into the brand new. It would have taken one phone call to be at his side; to point, cover, and protect. But as my finger hovered over that number, the script running through my mind, God whispered words to my heart…

He said, “You’ve done well and I’m going before Him. Now let him follow Me.”

This post is a link-up to the Five-Minute Friday community. An inspired and beautiful group of gifted writers who pour their heart on the page over one word prompt. “Follow” was paired with tears today, friends – they simply grow up too soon. Come join the Friday free-write festivities or the early bird joy on Thursdays on Twitter @ #fmfparty. For details, please visit our gracious hostess, Kate Motaung.

Photo Credit (text overlay by Tiffany Parry)

28 thoughts on “Let Him {FMF: Follow}

    1. I did, Marie. He gave me a nod and a “cool” at first…not as moving from his perspective, lol. But then he initiated a conversation the next day about how God “spoke to my heart.” We had a good talk…so there’s that. :) Thanks for visiting, Marie.

  1. Tiffany, your post almost made me cry. :) I am deep in the trenches on the front side of motherhood. My oldest is seven and my youngest (for now) is 18 months, so I’m trying my best to savor every moment of early childhood and point them in the right direction. I have some very strong personalities in the mix (and I have such an easy going personality). Every day I hope that I am teaching them the things they need to know, whether it’s by my lifestyle or by my words. I guess that’s where trusting the Lord comes in!

    1. Gotta love a strong-willed child…God sends them to strengthen our faith and our knees, right?! :) Do savor every minute because as much as people told me to do the same, and being that I only had one, it all is just a blur. This quote spoke to my heart many years ago and I reflect on it often, “Don’t get so busy raising a good kid, that you forget you already have one.” I have, sometimes still do. God is shaping and molding those personalities for far reaching purpose we can’t even begin to know…so yes, we lean in, we watch and trust BIG and we pray…a lot! Blessings to you sweet mama…you are doing awesome!! :)

  2. Lovely post! As a mother of two sons…it resonated with me of course. I have a dear friend whose son will enter middle school too next year. He and she have had a rough year so I’ll share this post with her! :) I am thankful you posted these thoughts so that I can realize it is okay to be scared of your kids growing up. Sometimes they follow us, but eventually we have to allow them to become little men. Love to you as your release your young man to new adventures! Lovely photo too! Jenn

    1. Watching him grow up is so bittersweet, Jenn. I’m proud of the young man he is becoming but there are challenges in shaping him to be the young man that I know God desires…it is scary, and sad, and reminds me how fleeting time is. God has given them and we daily have to give them back and that is just not simple or easy…especially when it means allowing them to fail, so they can grow. But God loves them and He authors their lives (even though we’d like to!). I’m glad it encouraged you and I pray it does the same for your friend. Hugs!

    1. Gosh, thank you Kate. I’m so grateful for him…God’s used him to teach me so much about love and grace. I absolutely couldn’t have done it without His strength…and my husband!!! Gotta give dad the props too…lol. :) Thanks for visiting, Kate!

  3. Thank you for reminding me that the days of my children arguing over who gets the coveted lap privileges are fleeting. I want to treasure every moment.

    1. Oh, Liz…savor. every. moment. It seriously just goes by so fast and the when-will-they-grow-up moments just fly right by. Thanks for visiting me…blessings to you and your kiddos.

  4. Ack! I know that feeling! My helicopter instincts are still incredibly strong–and our babies are 21 and 22! But we’re definitely in the season of letting them follow God–and it’s so scary whilst they find their own identity in him! Praying for you, my friend!

    1. Being that he’s 12, I still technically get to hover for another 10 years or so, right?! :) While he is under my wing, I’m trying hard not to clip his…solve every problem and direct every step. It’s hard! Yes, I want him to follow after God for his heart, not mine. Thanks for visiting me, Anita. Always nice to have wise mamas beside me on this journey.

  5. What a wonderful post! I think about my son who turned 17 months today, and how fast the time has flown. I’m learning to balance between guiding my son and trusting God to mold his heart. Happy to meet over from #FMF!

    1. Such a sweet age, Sam. I miss those days. And boy a busy time!! Balance is always one to lean into God for…He’s been so faithful to stand in the gap and lead the way…especially when I mess up! :) So glad you popped over today.

  6. Yes, it’s a scary thing letting go of our kids… hoping we have taught them well the direction to go in! It’s in those moments I’m so glad we have a heavenly Father we can trust them to. He knows the way and how to get them where they need to be! :) Thanks for these encouraging words!

    1. Me too, Rachel! I’m so grateful we have a God who watches and loves and writes great plans over their lives. I can’t imagine not knowing that for him. Thanks for visiting, friend.

  7. So beautiful, Tiffany. As my guy anticipates Junior High next year, it’s hard to let him go. He’s followed my lead for years, and I’m trying not to be the hover-mother, but I so want to protect him. But that’s not my job. Sigh. :)

    When you’ve laid a good foundation in his life, he can stand on that and know you’re his safe place, right? That’s what I’m hoping with my guys, anyway.

    Loved your post, and this glimpse into your mama’s heart!

    1. The hover mother…yes!! To my delight (maybe not my sons) I substitute teach at his new middle school quite regularly. The staff is already joking with me to not be one of “those moms.” :) I want to protect and hold him close, but I’m also proud that he’s ready to spread his wings…that means we have done our job, right?! We’ll have to share notes on this new adventure with our boys. Blessings, dear friend.

  8. Beautiful, my friend. As my son closes down his days in high school (his last day is next Wednesday), tears fill my eyes as I read your words. Precious. You’ve done well raising him according to God’s ways. God has him in the palm of His hand and always will. How precious those words God whispered to your heart. May you never forget them. Hugging you from afar today!

    1. Oh, Julie…a high school graduate!! Congrats proud mama. These milestones are so bittersweet and reminders of how quickly time goes by. Yes…in the palm of God’s hand…that’s a beautiful encouragement. Thank you for the hug, sweet friend. Always a blessing to hear from you.

  9. This is beautifully written, Tiffany. Parents give their best during the early years, but the time does come when our babies need to choose for themselves. I pray that they’ll always choose Jesus :)

    1. Thank you, Sabrina. It’s hard to let go, right. So glad I still get to hold him close for a while yet and watch him spread his wings. My prayer echoes yours…choose Jesus! So blessed you stopped by.

  10. Tiffany, as I read your post, I could picture you and your son at every turn; every new step. You have given him the tools to follow Jesus! Great post!

    1. I was picturing it all too, Tara…sniff. I miss that little guy. But he is a delight and yes, my prayer is that He follows Jesus today and always. Thanks for visiting friend, always great to hear from you! :)

    1. Thank you, Reagan. He makes his momma proud and I’m so glad God chose me to raise up this little man – and that He helps me do it! So glad you stopped by tonight.

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