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(Unsplash/Larm Rmah)

I love being a mom. To me, that came as a welcome surprise because I am not a person who's comfortable with children. During my first pregnancy, I worried that I wouldn't like my child. Of course the exact opposite was true. My greatest joy was—and still is—getting to hang out with my kids.

But, I'm ashamed to say that this enjoyment turned to jealousy when they began school and started choosing to spend their time elsewhere. Even though they still loved being with me at times, I felt discarded and replaced.

It took a while for me to work through these feelings, and the way I was able to exchange jealousy for joy was through prayer. God showed me that instead of worrying about being abandoned, I needed to pray for those my child was choosing to spend his time with.

As soon as I did that, my joy returned. Today I'd like to share one of my prayers with you. I've shared it with other parents who were dealing with much more serious issues than my hurt feelings, and they've told me it helped them as well.

Dear Lord,

Today I'm struggling with jealousy. I feel like I've been replaced in my son's heart, and it hurts so much. I want to step in and force him to stay with me, but I know that isn't right. It's time for him to spread his wings and find others who will be used by You as an influence in his life.

But I worry about the type of influence some of these people will be. Give me more faith in You and help me remember that You are the one guiding my child. Remind me that You use the negative situations as well as the positive ones to mold and shape each of us into becoming more like Christ.

Show me how to make the most of my time with my son without burdening him with my worry and jealousy. Don't let me drive him away with my fears. Fill my heart with joy as I watch You at work in my son's life. Amen.

Edie Melsonauthor, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her most recent, While My Child is Away. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Kirk; they live in the upstate of South Carolina and have raised three sons. Connect with her on www.EdieMelson.com,  Twitter and Facebook.

This article originally appeared at just18summers.com.

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