Honestly with Sheila Walsh

Honestly with Sheila Walsh

Under the Shelter of God’s Wings

Our son, Christian and two of his friends decided that it would be fun to go to camp together this summer. It’s about a two-hour drive from our home but Barry likes to leave so early that we could almost catch the last day of the previous camp. We stopped for lunch and we were still two hours early. Finally the gates opened and we drove in between all the hooting and hollering of the camp councilors welcoming the kids. We found Christian’s cabin and in just a few moments both his friends joined us. I handed in his care packages and his allergy meds and after big hugs Barry and I set off home.



“Just think,” Barry said, “we could see a different movie every night.”


“I know, and we can go out for dinner to all the places we like,” I added.


“And sleep late!” he said.



We looked at each other and unleashed at the same moment, “We just left our son in the middle of the woods with a bunch of strangers who say they are Christians but how do we know that!!!”


I am coming to realize that this whole being a parent thing will always tear at my heart. Christian is growing into a wonderful young man but we live in a crazy world and we don’t know from one moment until the next what is going to happen to us or to those we love. When that reality hits me hard that’s when I pull my heart back under the shelter of God’s wings because he does know. He knows what will happen today and tomorrow and he has promised that he will be there. He has not promised that we will be spared from pain but that he will be present in the pain. One of my favorite words is, refuge. I love it because when applied to our lives, Christ is our refuge in any storm large or small. He is our safe haven, our sanctuary. I have six more days of Christian’s camp to get through but you may have eighteen months of a son or husbands tour of duty to get through. If you are like me some days the load feels pretty light and you have a firm conviction that God is in control and watching out for those we love. But there are those other days, days when you are tired or discouraged and all the old fears come flooding back. What do you do on those days? This is what I do. I find a quiet place and in my mind I take Christian and I imagine that I am placing him right under the shelter of God’s wings. It’s hard to grasp on this side of heaven how held we are by the love of God if only we would lean back and find his wings are strong. I may have to imagine placing Christian there but the truth is that he is always there, I just have to remember. I pray today that you will know the peace of God, which passes our human grasp, and the love of Christ our Savior that would fill every space of doubt and fear.

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Deana OHara

posted July 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

This is a wonderful post. My boys are 16 and 18 and we’ve had many of those trips. The week my oldest went to Belize on a mission trip – I thought my heart was going fall out. These trips are good for them. They grow so much and so do we.
Refuge is a great word. My youngest lives with ADNFLE, which is a genetic form of nocturnal epilepsy. (Think John Travolta’s son) It’s one thing to turn life situations and other people over to God’s care – quite another when it’s my child. I have to remember that God does not have grandchildren. I know that sounds cliche’ but it’s true. Learning to trust in that refuge took a long time for me. It takes a long time for a lot of people.
You are an inspiration – thank you for your words of great wisdom.

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Karen Kuntz

posted July 9, 2009 at 7:56 pm

I can’t even get the courage to send Eric to camp this year. I am going to be a horrible empty-nester!! Beth starts her first job tomorrow at the grocery store and I’m already having withdrawal letting her out of my sight. I’ll try my best to let God be in charge!

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Your Name

posted July 9, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I am a new mom..well not brand son just turned 1 last week..but still pretty new..and I have to admit that I pray each day and night and sometimes throughout my day for the Lords protection over my baby! The other night I accidentally cut his finger VERY badly while trimming his nails and he screamed and cried so hard..and the blood gushed out from his little finger and it tore my heart to pieces and even now as I write this I am crying because I hurt him and didnt mean too of course..but I just felt like my heart was being ripped anyway I sat with him..and as sat with him I prayed and prayed for the Lord to help help me calm my child but also for him to calm me..and for the bleeding to stop..and it did!! I know that the Lord was right there with me..telling me he was gonna be ok..and I had this peace about it..I kept hearing I am watching over can relax and go to sleep..because I couldnt sleep..i felt so bad! I cant imagine what you moms must feel like letting your boys go away to camp..or the service..because right now I cant imagine being away from my baby..ever! Thank you for your encouragement and may GOD bless you!

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Suzanne Akoury

posted July 9, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I am the one who just posted up above under Your Name..sorry i must of forgot to put my name!

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Verna Coleman

posted July 9, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I know how hard it is to leave your child in someone else’s care or take them to college and leave them there. I cried all 40 miles home each time I left her at college for the first two years.
The first night at college a window fell on her head and she ended up in the emergency room. When she called me the next morning, even tho she assured me she was okay. I am sure if it had not been a Friday morning and I was desperately needed at the office for payroll I would have had to make that 40 mile one way trip just to see for myself.
She is now married and expecting her first child in Jan. I still miss having her with me daily. The empty nest syndrom was not an easy one for me.
But with God’s help I have been able to turn things over to him and not worry about her.
I just attended the St. Louis Conference, and came home so refreshed and uplifted. I cannot stress enough how much these conferences mean to me.
We love ya gals.

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elaine @ peace for the journey

posted July 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm

The “letting go” and trusting God has been the hardest leap of faith I’ve made as a parent. My oldest has recently returned from a trip to Bolivia. My second son will enter college this fall. My youngest son, enters 3rd grade, and God’s “little princess” will try her hand at 2nd. I’ve been parenting for half of my life. And while my trust for their futures grows more certain with every milestone we cross, the ache of seeing it all happen so fast captures my breath and forces my pause before the throne.
Glad to see you in blogland, Shelia. God’s richest blessing upon you and Barry as you navigate these new waters in your parenting.
peace~elaine olsen

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posted July 11, 2009 at 1:45 am

You made me feel so normal as I read this!! It’s very reassuring to see that there are other Mommas who are a little overprotective, who worry about their babies (no matter their age), who imagine all the crazy things that could happen…….but then always come back to the One who has us all, all the time….whether we realize it or not. Thanks for sharing this! :)

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Elise Benton

posted July 11, 2009 at 10:35 am

Thank You for sharing this blog…It helps me to know that i am not alone. We have an 18 year old with autism, so I worry what will happen to her when we are no longer here to take care of her… We are so blessed she knows Jesus at her level, but she knows him. I struggle with letting go and trusting that God will deliver me, especially when my husband must work such long hours. Thank you for sharing all your struggles and triumphs in this area.May God Bless you, Barry, and Christian always!

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Rindy Walton

posted July 11, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Letting go and trusting is definitely one of the most difficult parts of parenting. Every stage it grows and each time it’s difficult but necessary. Without having a God to trust, I don’t know how people can do it.

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Your Name

posted July 12, 2009 at 10:05 am

The world is no more crazy today than is was 50 years, or 500 years, or 5,000 years ago. Yes, it was different in those years, but still crazy and dangerous, some the same, but also crazy in different ways.

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posted July 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I have a son in a drug and alcohol rehab center and this really struck me today. I have to relinquish control and put us both under God’s wing and seek the refuge to which Sheila refers. I only pray I have the strength, and if I don’t I pray that I can pray.

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posted July 12, 2009 at 1:14 pm

A wonderful post! Thank you. It reminded me when I left my twenty year old son in the States and I was the one to go on a mission trip, thousand of miles away to Peru. I was the one having all these questions, and him wishing me well, and reassuring me “all will be well…listen to God’s voice Mom”.I had a multitude of questions, like “if something happens to me, who will continue to guide my son as he grows up? Will Christian brothers and sisters we have crossed paths with keep in touch with me? etc…”..God truly is watching over us all.

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California Girl

posted July 12, 2009 at 10:02 pm

As a teacher and coach, I find that school is a place of refuge for the students I work with. Classmates and teams become their place of community and support. Yet as they leave the refuge of school each day, I trust that God will watch over them and keep them safe. Thanks for the post Sheila and for an awesome conference in San Jose.

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posted July 13, 2009 at 9:49 am

I am a mother of six and I was a young mother with six kids alone and I knew that I needed Gods help. I lifted each of my babies up to the Lord and asked him to help me rase my children because I knew that I could not rase them alone. The Lord heard my prayers and now my children are adults and have a family of their own and every day I thank the Lord for being there for me all the way and he did not leave me to handle it alone. He is my life and that is where I belong.

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posted August 22, 2009 at 3:49 am

I have a 17 year old that is going to be a senior this year and a 12 year old that is in the 7th grade same as your son Christian. It is so hard to let go of our children. It continues to tear at my heart strings when my sons go to camp or like my oldest loves acting and music and went to New York his freshman year in High School, I was a wreck, but he had an experience he will never forget. Letting go and trusting God is very hard when it comes to our children. My youngest is going with a family to the beach for this weekend, this is very hard Lord. I just have to continually pray, I know you love my sons Lord more than I could ever imagine, and you have a plan for them just as you have a plan for me. Lord Thank You that you have made us mothers that love our children. Thank you for giving us children.
God bless your children and all these wonderful Moms…..

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