While My Child is Away {My Prayers For When We Are Apart} by Edie Melson

When I was pregnant with my son, the obstetrician's office that I attended would have a group meet-up with other women who were also having babies around the same time as I was. We'd sit around for an hour or two discussing all kinds of topics from pregnancy, to being a mom (or soon to be mom), and just about everything else. It was a great group of ladies and I had a lot of fun attending, especially as a first-time mom. 

One day, as we sat around in a circle, my midwife had asked everyone if they had any worries, cares, or concerns that they'd like to talk about. I went first and shared how I just hoped and prayed that my son would be healthy and that everything would go okay with the birth. Then I blurted out how I'm pretty much worried about anything and everything. Perhaps it was because the road to becoming blessed with a baby was little bumpy or maybe it was just maternal instincts setting in early. Honestly it could've been a little of both. As I talked, I could feel the tears swell up in my eyes as I tried to hold them back. 

My midwife completely understood where I was coming from and so did the rest of the gals who began agreeing with me. That's when my midwife proceeded to confess that this feeling really never goes away even when your kids get older and sometimes it gets even stronger. She shared how every time her older teen daughter left the house, she would be a nervous wreck. 

I totally knew where she was coming from. It suddenly dawned on me–this is just the beginning. No matter how old my son is, whether he is a baby or an adult, I am always going to have my worries and concerns. Really all I can do is give these feelings to God and pray, trusting that the Lord will take care of him. I just finished reading While My Child is Away by Edie Melson and it has definitely struck a chord with me on this topic.

The most powerful thing a parent can do for their child is to pray. Sometimes, the only thing a parent can do for their child is pray for them, but that is enough. When your child is at school or camp, with another parent, or even grown and living on their own, these prayers for blessings, protections, wisdom and insight will resonate with you. Written from the heart of a mother who has prayed her sons through schools, college, military deployment and now the distance that comes when they are grown and on their own, these words bring to life the concerns every parent has for their son or daughter. Whatever their age, if they are away for days or years, these prayers will speak right to the heart of God.

Edie Melson is a sought after writing instructor, including serving as the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. She s the author of While My Soldier Serves, has published thousands of articles over the years, and has a popular writing blog, The Write Conversation. Edie is the Senior Editor for Novel Rocket and the Social Media Mentor for My Book Therapy, as well as the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine. Edie lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina.

With young children, it's easier to be in control of what they're doing and be there for them to ease any pain or discouragement they might feel. Of course once they're of age to leave the home, whether it be for summer camp or college, that feeling of being in control as a parent can easily be diminished. While My Child is Away is a wonderful collection of prayers and devotions that offer hope and encouragement to parents when they can't always physically be there for their children.

The book is set up with nine different chapters. Each chapter has four sections, The first section includes pages of prayers that parents can recite for their children, the next section offers prayers that parents can recite for themselves, the third section contains several parenting devotions, followed by a few afterthoughts specifically catered to the chapter's topic. I really enjoyed that the author included a special quote or Bible scripture to help start off each prayer and devotion throughout the book.

While many of the prayers are catered towards those with children who are about to, or have already left home (both permanently or temporarily), the book does cover a broad range of children's ages. Even though my son is a toddler, I still found a lot of prayers that I could relate to. One that really resonated with me was called "Give My Child Hope for the Future." Parents can recite this prayer, asking God to allow their children to reach for the stars, become the person that He wants them to be, and prevent anything from happening that would potentially destroy that hope. I also really enjoyed the parenting devotions in the third section of every chapter, which were easy to relate to and offered an uplifting message for parents with children of all ages.

Even though my own child is very young and there's quite some time before he decides to leave home, this book still offered me a lot of encouragement. It is one that I would hold onto for when that days comes, because I know that I will definitely need it. While My Child is Away covers a wide span of prayer topics for children, from meeting new friends, keeping healthy and safe, success at work, making smart choices, and even blessings for their marriage. This book would make a wonderful gift for soon to be emptynesters or for those who already are. I would also recommend this to any parent who has a child in the military. With back to school season here, I know there are a lot of parents who have just sent their own children off to college. They'll also want to give this book a good read during this time!