When It’s Time to Let Go of Our Children

There are moments when we need reminders to relax and trust God with worries for our children. At least I do. When it’s time to let go of our children–this is one of those moments.

Kids growing up, mom encouragement, letting go, teens, trusting God

These are the days we need to settle our hearts and sink into the truth of God’s presence and sovereign care. Days we need to be still and know through the experience of our souls that He is God.

The morning my daughter was set to leave for Australia, I woke with a heavy heart. That one-way ticket, the reality of saying goodbye pressed hard against the joyful knowledge that she is following God’s lead.

I wanted to whine, “Why a country so far away? Wasn’t there someplace closer You could send her?”

I wanted to complain, “Two years seems like forever.”

I wanted to worry, but I remembered how God had recently spoken to my fears for her safety.

Mostly, I felt tender and small, sad about saying goodbye.

God spoke to my heart through His word and the impressions that work themselves onto the page of my journal.

Be still and be in this moment. Know that I am your God–your helper and strength. I am your source and your blessing.

Open your hands–to let go as well as to receive. 

Parenting, Kid's leaving home


In response I wrote these words.

I open my heart to what God is doing in my life and in my family. I ask for strength to release my child into His hands with joy rather than sadness.

Open, I will keep trusting and resting. This is the position to receive confidence for the future.

I will open my hands to hold onto God rather than cling to what I cannot keep…my children and the way things were when they were younger. In a way, this is hoarding the past and today is a time for something new.

I will try not to hold onto the past in an attempt to ensure happiness and security for the future.  I cannot store yesterday’s grace and blessing to bank for tomorrow.

I open my mind to receive grace for a new season. Grace to let my children go in faith.

Joining these communities of bloggers: Thought-Provoking Thursdays and Grace and Truth.



In an unexpected turnaround, my girl puts me on the plane. Due to a delay with her visa, she does not leave when we planned. My husband and I have a flight to Hawaii. Her visa has come through and she will leave tomorrow. This feels strange to me–she takes us to the airport.

Cars and taxi’s crowd the departure lane in the chill of the early morning. Rushed, we say our goodbyes and my heart wants to cling, thinking it is likely to be a year before I hug her again.  There is a part of me that cannot even take that in and I force myself to take a breath.

Chest tight and watery eyes leaking love, I whisper in her ear, face pressed against her hair, “So proud of you, I love you so much.” A car horn honks. Words cannot express what is inside-the wonder, excitement, joy, fear, love, and loss all tied up together in a tangle of emotions and faith. I hug her tight and release.

It is the letting go that is hard.

It is the distance that weighs heavy. And yet it is the possibilities and the faithfulness of God that empower me to loosen my grip. I have this tangible sense of releasing her into God’s great care as she steps out into the wide adventure of calling and faith. Truly, there is no better place to be.

When it's time to let go of our children,

She is ready. Ready to fly. Ready to go.

And so am I.

Parenting involves a series of letting go moments, milestones of growth and maturity. How has the “letting go” process worked out in your life?

Read more about trusting God in every moment, including raising our children in Ginger’s award-winning book.


Make the most of every moment by learning practical ways to trust God in every circumstance. Overcome anxiety, perfectionism, insecurity, and other challenges by simple choices to rely on the live of Christ in the moment.

Other posts about letting our children go:

Powerful Truth Gives Direction to Our Children

Powerful Prayers for God’s Direction for our Children

God’s Powerful Dreams for Our Children Give Direction

Praying Through the Milestones in Our Kid’s Lives

Get a summer bucket list for your soul, with 31 soul-restoring activities to make the most of this summer.


  1. Precious sister, had tears in my eyes while reading this as my heart resonates so deeply with yours in this season, and the multifaceted emotions of “letting go” of our kids as they follow their own God-directed paths…some of which take them so very far away from us and maybe even into harms way. The sadness and tears of the goodbye and separation mingle with the inexpressible joy and gratitude of seeing your child following hard after her Savior…wherever that may lead them. I get it friend. And I am praying for sweet Grace, just as I pray God’s sweet grace to enfold you like a blanket and lift your heart on those days that the distance seems more daunting than the joy…and you just plain miss her. Thank you for transparently sharing the journey with others… of sharing the glory and goodness of God in every difficult step. I too, am learning what it means to surrender in faith to the faithfulness of God as I yield to Him all that is dear and important to me…trusting Him with all of it. Love you friend! Leaning into Jesus alongside you, <3 Kris

    • Oh Friend, your beautiful words bless my socks off on this cold January morning! I am praying for your girl as she follows God’s lead to future destinations. I cannot tell you how GRATEFUL I am to have prayerful friends along side on this journey! Thank you so much for leaving this comment today. May God pour out sweet blessings to let God be God in the lives of our kids.

  2. Grateful for this message. My son is attending college in South Carolina(freshman year). We live in Ohio. I hate not being there. It has gotten easier but I still have a lot of work to do with letting go and trusting him to God. I’m digging deeper into His Word and learning to pray with greater power. My son is enjoying his new adventure and absolutely adores his campus and new reality. Thank you for sharing this message.

    • I’m so grateful that this was an encouragement to you. Few things challenge our heart more deeply than our concerns for our children. I’m so glad your son is doing well and loving school! Thanks for sharing your heart today, Maria!

  3. Ginger – I too am in the season of life where we are letting go of our adult children. Our son graduated college and got a job in his field of ouf state a little over a year ago. It was so hard to let go when he has lived with us for 21 years even while going to college. God is so good, He gave me the same Scripture – Be Still and know – for that season and sometimes even now reminds me of it. It has been hard, but good all at the same time and in fact my relationship with my son is better that when he lived with us. Hallelujah – the trusting God is always worth it. Blessings dear on and thank you for sharing your heart today and linking up at #ThoughtProvokingThursday

  4. When my children are grown I hope I can have a heart just like you do. Blessings to you! <3

    • Ginger Harrington

      You’re already there! Your heart radiates through your blog posts and I know God is blessing your family through your loving diligence. Thanks so much for visiting today, Stefani!

  5. This was just what I needed to read. I’m just a little behind you in letting go of my kids. I’m finding that prayer is the best place to go. Thank you for these encouraging words and thank you for linking with Grace and Truth last week.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Each season of parenting has been so special and God is always teaching us through our children, no matter what age they are. Prayer makes all the difference! Thanks for hosting at Grace and Truth. What a great way to connect with other bloggers.

  6. We have a lot in common with the letting go process, Ginger. It still hits me fresh some days.
    “In a way, this is hoarding the past and today is a time for something new.” I like that illustration – hoarding the past. And you’re right, God gives grace in the moment and not before!
    I could feel your pain at her putting you on the plane – that would just make my heart squeeze.
    I hope you’re heart is at peace tonight and that she is well and whole and full of the joy of serving!

    • Ginger Harrington

      I’m happy to report she is doing great! Getting settled and diving right into what God has for her in ministry there. Yes, I can tell from reading your blogs, that you are in this same season. Love the things you share on your blog–it has been a blessing. Thanks for sharing your encouragement today, Ruthie!

  7. I’m with Ruthie. I love that description of “hoarding the past.” This year we’re in Dallas, an hour and a half away from my son’s school, and in the same time zone, so calling is easy. In May, we’ll all return to Turkey, where he’ll spend his first summer vacation before returning back here alone. An ocean apart! Saying goodbye last August was harder than I expected, but I’m so grateful we’ve have these 9 months here.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Saying goodbye to our kids is never easy when long time periods are in the equation. When we lived in Japan, most of the families on the military base still sent kids to college in the US. We knew many who had kids far away. Whether close by or far away, I’m grateful for internet communication that makes it easier to stay in touch.

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