When to Let Go

by Cherrilynn Bisbano

 No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink,  but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:15 ESV

My adult son needed restoration physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I begged God daily to help Michael overcome his challenges. I’d cry myself to sleep worrying about his future. After many phone calls and website searches, we found another place to hopefully help my cherished boy. But could I handle having him so far away—800 miles from home?

I needed to let go and allow God to work in my son through this program, even though he had tried two others. We removed Michael from one and he was asked to leave another due to his lack of impulse control. I had the habit of rescuing my son from difficult places because of his autism and ADHD.

The Holy Spirit encouraged me to study Hannah, whose story is found in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel. Hannah prayed boldly and with all her might. Her prayer moved the heart and hand of God.

Now, with this program as our last hope, I prayed the staff would understand my autistic son and work with him.

Three days after I dropped off Michael, I walked and listened to an audio book on living a life for Christ. The narrator told a story about a young boy who found a caterpillar and brought it home, where his mother placed it in a jar with leaves.

The boy watched the caterpillar weave a chrysalis. He observed it every day for a week, until he saw the cocoon move. Realizing the creature was struggling, he ran to get scissors, which soon revealed a wet butterfly. The boy watched the insect struggle to fly—then die.

The Holy Spirit was loud and clear. If you rescue your son from this program he will be just like the butterfly. He will die.

I shut off the audio book and cried. “Lord, I commit him to your care. You must help me be strong.”

I had studied butterflies in the past. I knew they needed to battle to free themselves from the darkness. The fight strengthens their wings to fly.

The next day I received a call from Michael. He was hysterical, saying, “Mom, you have to come get me. I have bug bites all over me, and I’m allergic. I hate this place. People are mean. I don’t feel safe. I’ll run away if you don’t come for me.”

I’d never heard him so frantic. I cried, yet I remembered what the Holy Spirit had communicated to me the previous day.

“Michael, I love you. I’m sorry you are going through this. Give me until tomorrow to figure this out.”

I sobbed. Lord you need to help them help my son. I want to take him in my arms and make it all better, but I can’t. It will kill him spiritually. Help him Lord!

That afternoon I shared what the Spirit had told me with a leader from the facility, who said, “I’ll speak with Michael and share this with him.”

The leader called an hour later, saying, “Michael is fine now. He had a fit, and now understands this is his home for the next year.”

I praised God and cried happy tears. I realized Michael belongs to God.

I continue to pray boldly for my son and those he journeys with through the program. Michael has been there for three months now, and I see a remarkable change in him already. My mama’s heart misses him, but he’s in the safest place—the will and hand of God!

Just like God heard Hannah’s prayer, he hears mine.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

Shine Don't Whine

About the author: Cherrilynn Bisbano is an award-winning writer in both fiction and non-fiction. She is a coach, ghostwriter, editor, and speaker. You can find her published in several online magazines and blogs along with books.  Her latest book, Shine Don’t Whine, released in October 2020. Cherrilynn proudly served in the Navy and Air National Guard. She lives with her son, Michael, Jr., and husband of 22 years. Cherrilynn loves Christ, Chocolate, coffee, and Cats. You will often find her on the beach sea glass hunting.

Join the conversation: Do you have a child that you worry about?

7 thoughts on “When to Let Go

  1. My heart hurts reading this as I, too, understand the earnest cries to the Lord for our our adult children…
    Thank you for sharing.

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  2. I hear you loud and clear, Cherrilynn. I remember a time my 14 year old son flew across country to a Christian golf camp. He had to switch planes in Dallas. I was anxiously waiting, expecting he would miss his connecting flight and call me. As I waited by the phone, the Holy Spirit nudged me whispering, “You want him to miss the flight so that you can be needed.” Shock! Denial! And then I realized it was true. I repented of my lack of dependence upon God and a dysfunctional need to be needed. A few hours later, my son called saying he had reached his destination. I’ve never forgotten that from decades ago. It’s hard to let go. I’m still learning.

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  3. My son’s needs are so great, that I can’t imagine anyone caring for him the way that I do. It is very difficult letting go when you have a special needs child. (Adult now) I pray that If the day ever comes, that God will make His will clear to me and equip me to handle it all.

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