• Kristen Hepner

A New Experience


The complexity of motherhood is completely intricate, delicate, and powerful. In order to fully understand the language of the heart, you have to experience feelings that no words could ever explain. Some groanings of the heart are much too deep for mere words, but can only be expressed with sighs, moans, tears, eyes of understanding, and the silent presence of God’s Holy Spirit.

Seasons of motherhood are just as tangible as winter, spring, summer, and fall. Just like the weather changes, so does our roles and relationships with our children. All seasons are necessary for the growth of our children and like it or not, they will all come and go like the beautiful leaves of fall. Each season in the life of our children comes with heartaches and celebrations. Each season in the life of every mom comes with great love and great sorrow.


Yet, through it all, being a mother is the greatest gift I have even been given. It is a title I will wear with pride and joy until my last breath.

For years, I have been told to cherish each milestone, each moment with my children. As a mother of seven, I thought I knew this, lived this way and had experienced the full realm of parenthood. Honestly, I considered myself well versed in the realm of being a mother. Each time our oldest son passed into a new phase of life, my husband and I would giggle and say, “We thought we had this parenting thing figured out.” We would then come together, regroup, and tackle the “new” together.

A few days ago, a new season came, but this one was not accompanied by giggles. We drove our son to the airport and watched him walk away a man.


Just like there is no way to understand the depts of emotions relating to becoming the parent of a newborn baby, there is no way to understand the physical heartache of shooting them out into the world…until you experience it yourself.


A new level of love, pride, and trust breaks forth in your heart and mind in a way that is painful. Again, there are no words…only sighs, moans, tears, eyes of understanding, and the silent presence of God’s Holy Spirit will be able to relay the depths of emotion.


In all honesty, I want to apologize for my ignorance in thinking that I knew how hard it would be. I thought I knew. But, I had no idea.


And to be honest, that's OK. It's OK that I didn't have a clue...and really there is no one to apologize to for my lack of understanding because God knew.


This is where I am sitting during these days of loss and grief. I am sitting with the God who sees and knows. He is the One who hears the sighs of my heart, the moans of my soul, sees each tear that falls, tells me He understands, and still just sits with me.


He is a good Father and meets me right where I am at in the hurt.


Jesus is also the thread that ties me to my son, currently on the other side of the world. I can't be near him now, but I know that Jesus is. I take great comfort in believing this promise, knowing it to be true.


Almost 19 years ago, God blessed me with the most precious gift known to man. I was able to create life and nourish it, watching it grow. The blessing of being his mother will never escape me. And now, it's time for me to surrender him back to the Lord, like Hannah from the Bible.


I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there (1 Samuel 19:27-28).


I will always be his mother...no one will ever take that from me, but I have to remember that the One who created him and loves him more than I do is ready to take the reins.


Rather, there is a new level of reality making the term bittersweet morph in my mind to become more understandable. There is such a bitter feeling of loss, but I wouldn't have it any other way. There is no amount of changing or manipulation that this control freak would do to make things different, or dare I say, "easier".


So while I weep now, I know that joy will come. And that too will soon be a new experience.




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