When It’s Time to Say Good-bye Again (A Prayer for When They Leave)

Gold Brush Stroke

I cried when each child entered kindergarten. Sweet innocence seemed to be sneaking away.

Changing Roles of Good-Bye

Fast forward (and I mean fast forward!) to today and those childhood days are precious memories. My four children are flying the coop … way to soon it seems. 

I love seeing how God is molding my children; how He is growing their faith and strengthening their character. But a part of me wants some of those younger days back again.

I still want to take care of them. I want to doctor their hurts, soothe their injured feelings, participate in and celebrate their daily lives.

But my role is changing. I will always be Mom, but I’m becoming more of a mentor, intercessor, sounding board, and cheer leader. Transformed duties, not worse or better but different.


I’m sure many of you are experiencing changes in your roles as well. Change: it’s hard and it’s beautiful and it needs to be bathed in prayer.

Change: it's hard and it's beautiful and it needs to be bathed in prayer. Share on X

Prayer is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal as Christians and as parents. Important when the constant needs of little ones fill our days. Equally vital when the big ones spread their wings and begin leaving the nest.

Prayer is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal as Christians and as parents. Share on X

Channeling our feelings into prayers, for us and for our children, sweetens the taste of months-long vacant bedrooms and empty chairs. Change of all kinds becomes more palatable, even welcomed, when steeped in prayer.

Change of all kinds becomes more palatable, even welcomed, when steeped in prayer. Share on X

So let’s do it. Let’s sweeten the taste of our children spreading their wings. Let’s pray for our children and our hearts. 


Gracious Father, 

You know our parent heart. You know how hard it is for us to let our children go, how much we miss our children when they begin to fly.

Comfort our hearts, Lord. Remind us of the great plans you have for these littles-grown-big.

Be with our children as you’ve promised. Open their eyes to see your work in their lives. Open their ears to hear your whispers.

Give these young adults discernment and wisdom. Draw them nearer to you even as they may be moving farther from us. 

Change of any kind is hard, God. Make evident the beauty of growth and transformation that change brings. Help us see that beauty in our young men and women. 

Give us Your peace. Drench us with the joy of Your presence, a presence that never leaves. 

In Jesus’ name. Amen! 

Zach Dan off to college cropped

And to my young men, Daniel and Zachary (and all those young adults who are leaving their families to begin new adventures), listen to the wisdom of Paul as inspired by the Lord Himself:

“Remember, you are dearly loved and longed for… Stand firm in the Lord…. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally [boys], whatever is true, whatever is honorable,whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” Philippians 4: 1, 4-8

Walk always in the light of the Lord’s love for you. Never let anything get between you and Him. Let His love be known to others through the gift that is you. 

Love you forever! 


Reflections: What is your prayer for the young adults in your life? 

Closing in on 4 years of counting and I’ve surpassed 4,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,122–4,142. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • *Doctor who is thorough and knowledgeable and enjoyable to be around; *Great attitude of my youngest faced with missing out on participating in his favorite sport; *Cricket and cicada serenade
  • Enjoyed some crazy time with Joey; Hand specialist we liked; Zach arrived home: now we’re all together for the final few days of summer vacation!
  • Cooler temps and rain!; Entire day with all the kids; Fun, unique personalities of each of my children
  • Family daytripping up the Mississippi River: *Fun family goofiness; *Beautiful scenery; *Strengthening relationships
  • Successful surgery on Joey’s thumb; Little pain for my boy; Hospital-warmed blanket draped around my shoulders by a caring nurse
  • Before-school, weekend visit to Mother-in-law’s; Rare time with nephews; Sitting on the steps outside enjoying the rain with family
  • Treating family to special Vienese pastries filled with black raspberries called Liebesbriefe (love envelopes) as a college sendoff; Full weekend with hubby’s mom; Boys intentionally spending time together


By His Grace,



  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on August 25, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Julie: I understand how you feel. When our son went to Jr College on the other side of our state, I did miss him. When he relocated again in that general area, we moved him and saw him quite often. When he relocated 600 miles( and three states away. It hit me that I had to stay positive about his moving. My goodness, he had a job. You are correct, once a mother, alway a mother. Our roles do change as our children get older. I think that’s God’s plan.

  2. Aritha / Jedidja on August 25, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Thanks for the prayer! Letting go is difficult. But still hey are in our hearts. And we bring to bring them to Jesus. Every day. I am so pleased that three of my six children live at home …

    • Julie Sunne on August 26, 2015 at 8:34 am

      That is a blessing, Aritha! And it is a privilege to lift them in prayer wherever they live.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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