Giving Him Back to God

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Articles | 4 comments

Laughter and conversation filled the room as we waited for the graduates to file in.  It didn’t seem possible that four years had passed – four years of dorm rooms, vacation visits, exams, summer employment, four years of preparation for the career and future God had planned.


“No, it isn’t possible,” I thought.  “He can’t be graduating.”


The music started and the graduates began to file in.  Daniel smiled as he passed our row, his walk proud and strong as he made his way to his seat.


“Wasn’t it just yesterday he was graduating High School?  It hasn’t been that long since he marched in the High School marching band, played his trumpet in the All-County and All-State Bands and All-state Orchestra.  It was only yesterday…”  All the memories came flooding back – his first steps, his first words, his first day of Kindergarten.  I could hear him singing Disney songs, picture him building Star Wars ships out of Legos, and coloring pictures of dragons and knights.  I could see his attempts at Little League and middle school basketball.  Drama club, Bible studies, Church Youth group and church plays.  I imagined the tears I wiped, the sicknesses I nursed, the ouches I kissed, the awards, accomplishments, his lasting friendships.


“Daniel Richard Smith,” I heard his name called from the podium.  Daniel made his way to Dr. Meyer, the University of Valley Forge President, shaking his hand and accepting his degree.


“Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with this child.  I know he isn’t really a child anymore, but he is MY child and I am so thankful for him,” I prayed silently as I swelled with pride upon seeing my son cross the stage.


“Now, you have to give him back to Me,” the quiet voice in my head said.  “It’s time, Eileen.  You have to give him back.”


My heart clenched.  My son was a miracle.  “No children,” I had been told.  “You will never have children.”  Yet, God had chosen to bless me with this precious miracle.  After a long, hard, dangerous pregnancy, God slipped Daniel into my life.  I dedicated him to the Lord and did the best I could in raising him up to be a man of God.  Despite my mistakes and failings as a mother, God kept His hand on my son.


Daniel’s faith has always been strong.  His love for the Lord has radiated from him throughout his life.  His voice could be heard sharing his faith with his step-brothers while they played in the toy room.  His desire to know the Lord kept him in God’s word from the moment he learned to read.  His desire to share Christ led him to speak with friends and strangers alike, one-on-one, in our church’s youth group, and in the Bible study he led at school.


The memories swept over me, one after another, as I considered the young man my son had become.  “I love him, Lord,” I whispered.


“So do I,” the soft voice replied.


I knew I had to give him back.  He was never really mine to begin with.  God had entrusted me with that precious little life.  My work was finished.  He would always be my son.  I would always be available to offer advice, congratulations, encouragement, or sympathy.  I would always be “mom.”  But that title must take on a new meaning. I had to let my son go, to allow the Lord to be the one Daniel went to now for all of the decisions.  I had to give him back.


The morning after the graduation, we helped Daniel and his friend, Zac, move into their new home.  Daniel’s fiancé, Sara, and her parents had come to help.  The boxes had been unloaded and it was time for us to leave.  “May I pray with you?” I asked before Eric and I climbed into our truck.


“Sure,” Daniel and Zac had replied.  We formed a circle, placing our hands on Daniel and Zac in prayer.


“Lord, I thank you for these two young men of God.  I thank you for bringing them through college to this new stage of their lives.  Help them as they enter the ministry.  Help them to seek you in all things.  And Lord, as you instructed me to do…” my voice broke.  Taking a deep breath, I continued, “Lord, I give my son back to You.  Thank you for blessing me with this strong young man of God as my son.  Use him Lord.  Amen.”


Tears flowed as Daniel hugged me tightly.  “I love you, mom,” he whispered.  We wiped our tears and said our good-byes.  Daniel waved as we pulled out of the driveway of the parsonage he and Zac would share as they helped to pastor a new, growing church.


I felt the Lord’s peace as we drove out of sight.  My son belongs to God.


“So now I give him to the Lord.  For his whole life, he will be given over to the Lord.”  I Samuel 1:28 (NIV)


  1. How beautifully written and such an inspiration to me! The Lord will bless and increase Daniel’s ministry and also his connection to his Mom who graciously gave him back to the Lord willingly. PTL!!!

  2. This was written with such grace and dedication to the Lord as only a Mom who loves so deeply.

  3. Beautifully written Eileen!

  4. tugged on the heart strings! I am so proud of my Daniel; also very proud of my daughter! It gives me joy to read the things you write. God has given you a wonderful gift and I am so pleased to see you using the gift the Lord has given you!

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