Graduating Moments

Sometimes the hardest part about having children is letting go. As parents we spend most of our time devoted to our kids. And in one moment— poof—it changes.

Sometimes the hardest part about having children is letting go. As parents we spend most of our time devoted to our kids. And in one moment— poof—it changes.

Several weeks ago, I sat in a pew with a graduation robe on, eagerly awaiting the call of my name. My last name starts with a “w” and I knew that I would have to wait for a while as everyone made their way toward the stage one at a time. As I sat there, I remembered the last time I attended this seminary’s commencement ceremony. Eighteen years ago, my husband sat with his graduating class while I, eight months pregnant with my son Joshua, sat with the cheering families. Perhaps that explains why I kept thinking about my son during my graduation. I thought about his birth, his love of creation, and his affinity for making guns out of anything including Legos, clothespins and white bread. Treasured memories flooded my mind. I realized that soon, in a few weeks, he would sit with many of his friends anticipating his walk across a stage to receive his high school diploma. Where did the time go?

I will confess that this past year has brought a mix of emotions. I felt excited as Josh and I sorted the colorful brochures he had collected at the college fair. They covered our dining room table and later the floor in our den. I felt sad when my youngest daughter whispered, “Oh, this is the last time we will…” after returning from our annual last-day-of-school breakfast. Many times I have confessed to the Lord, “I don’t like this— I don’t like this at all!”

When Joshua learned to walk, I constantly worried about his safety. When he started school, I read every book assigned to him, made sure he considered a biblical worldview when he faced something confusing, and gave him the “stranger-danger” talk regularly. I prayed for his salvation and pushed him to read the Bible, memorize scripture, and go to Sunday school. And then when he drove for the first time, I reminded him to buckle up, no speeding, and no texting while driving. In the midst of all the teaching, guiding, and worries, I have felt the Lord working, reminding me that His plans for Joshua are not the same as mine.

Over the past few months, as I’ve spoken with friends, loved ones and some beloved professors about launching my oldest child, I have received gentle reminders that God’s faithfulness, sovereignty, and grace apply in this situation as they have to this point. These people have helped me to see that I need to depend once again on the promises of God and “lean not on my own understanding.” One of my mentors also reminded me that discipleship takes a lifetime. Despite the fact that Joshua will live 350 miles away, I still need to keep him accountable, pray for him daily and mentor him.

As I anticipate watching my son walk across a stage in his graduation robe, hat in place while a red tassel dangles near his face, I hope to remember that even though I prefer to have life stay the same, a new chapter must begin. Joshua will learn to honor God in ways that I cannot teach him. God is good. And I have no doubt, that once again I will rediscover the goodness of the Lord in the life of my son.

Do you, like me, need to let go of someone or something? Are you accepting the
peace of God to comfort you or are you setting it aside to let your fears control you? Take a moment and commit your situation into the hands of God. Remember, He’s got this.

Raquel Wroten

Raquel Wroten (MAMC, Dallas Theological Seminary) was born in McAllen, Texas but has lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area most of her life. Raised by a single mother, Raquel grew up knowing the meaning of diversity, creativity, and chaos through her four brothers and three sisters. The greatest gift she ever received came from her mother who taught her that living as a believer doesn’t mean perfection, it means grace. Raquel met her husband Rick at a church retreat in Oklahoma on a cold November weekend. They dated for a year and got married in June 1992. A couple of years later, Rick graduated with his ThM, and they welcomed Joshua. . .then Abby. . .and surprise, it’s Anna! Intermixing their cultures, the Wrotens have established a variety of traditions along with interesting combinations of food. Raquel believes that ministry begins at home so she finds new ways of serving those she calls her own. Raquel serves as editor of DTS Magazine and enjoys writing (in English, Spanish and Spanglish), cooking, coffee, education and serving up a feast for her friends and family.