The hardest part is not what I thought it would be... As my family grows and our children mature, we are facing issues that I never foresaw. I have a child that has decided to remove herself from the authority of our family.

It’s hard... but honesty is my game. I’m not the first mom to stand back and bite her fist as her child storms forward into the future on their own terms. Right?

My focus is to stay grounded in the Lord. This is of uttermost importance to me... why? Because in my heart, I know that she will be fine.

See when that sweet girl was born, we handed her over to the Lord. We held a baptism in which we stood at the front of our church and literally said... Thank you for this tiny little bald creature... we give her to you Lord... as we raise her to follow you and know you.

Yet here we stand... watching her from a distance and scared to death. I wasn’t prepared for this day. We have prayed over this stubborn and strong willed child since the day she was born, yet completely unaware that her path would deviate from ours by choice.

How do you learn to breathe again? There was no lead up and no manual... this whole incident has left us floundering as parents. Over and over in my mind, I do the math... but I keep getting the wrong answer.

It’s not suppose to go like this. I’m suppose to calmly and lovingly walk my child through these hard decision making years... in the background yet still having a say... and footing the bill.

But she didn’t have the same plans. She walked away from it all... and yet she doesn’t seem the least bit remorseful.

Is that the very least that I could ask? It’s hard to wrap my head around but I have complete faith in my Lord. I know that he will provide and that in the end... our goal is to bring him glory.

So here we go... Lord there is a perfect example for you to do your thing and make things work out to your plans.

I swallow my heart at least three times a day. Surely I will wake up and everything will fall into place the way it’s suppose to be? Yet it’s not.

She is out there... with her armor on and fighting her way on her own terms. I don’t like it. I’m not comfortable at all with this... I keep coming back to the idea that she will come home. I keep looking at my phone like she’ll text me that she wants a plane ticket... yet the phone is silent.

She’s a child of God that was raised in the church. Yet the path she is on isn’t one that honors that upbringing. This is the part where I stand back and try hard to hold it in... the knowledge that she was meant for something amazing... yet this isn’t what I had in mind.

Where did we go wrong? Too many rules? Too much freedom? Are did we do our part? Did we lay the foundation that was meant to be laid so that one day, she could build something beautiful on that foundation that will honor the Lord?

That is where I stand... on my faith. I stand tall knowing that regardless of what choices she makes that I don’t agree with, I know that she is guaranteed her place in the Lord’s hand... I know that as much as I love her, he loves her more.

So I will stand back... I will walk and I will love. I will try to hold my tongue and not jump to conclusions. I will also not stand on my pride... I will lay out our process and our journey because we plant seeds in those around us.

If the story of my prodigal helps bring comfort to another, then they will be in good company. It’s the loving words and verses of the examples in my own life that have helped me learn to breathe again.

In the midst of the pain.

Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Dividing her time between Grand Lake and North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at kmbrazeal@icloud.com.