This is all I really know today: Good-byes are hard but necessary.
I mean I know stuff. I know lots of unnecessary why-on-earth-do-you-know-that-stuff stuff. But today, the only thing that I really know well, so well it makes my head and heart hurt, is that good-byes are hard.
There are things that I want for my kids that, without good byes, without me letting go, they won’t be able to fully grasp, to embrace and claim for themselves if I am directing and holding them. It’s time. Time to say goodbye and let my oldest move on. This is good. Really, I know this. It is and I can feel it and I see it written all over her face. She is ready to move on and take steps without me holding on and directing the show, which, just between us, I kind of like doing.
So I am releasing control, not completely, but a little. Okay, maybe a lot considering the miles between us and the time change. I am not sure if this is all going to be good. In fact, I am pretty sure there will be some moments that aren’t good. They could actually be bad. Moments that I will wish I was her roommate, instead of that sweet girl, Maddie, whom we briefly met.
So, although today I feel like all I know is how hard good-byes are, there may be a few things that I know go hand-in-hand with this particular good-bye that I am finding hard.
I know I don’t want her to come home the same as she left. I want her to engage with those around her and dig deep into her relationship with Christ and seek all He has for her. And I want her to come home CHANGED. I want her to embrace who God desires her to be.
I know this is going to be a hard year for her and, for us, but probably more for us. She is ready for this, but I am not so sure we are. We will have a hard time, but that doesn’t mean our hard time needs to be her hard time.
I know there will be tough days ahead. There will be days when she doesn’t think she can make it and days when she feels she can conquer anything and anyone. And, let’s face it, she is still a young female and therefore subject to riding the emotional roller coaster. But I will love her through it. I will encourage her and rejoice with her. I will be her biggest fan.
I know to expect change but not too much change. Like I said first off I don’t want her coming home the same as she left – God at work! But I also know that change takes time, so I will be patient with her as she figures it all out. I know she will sometimes have opinions that differ from mine, but this too is all part of the journey and her walking towards who Christ has created her to be.
I know she still needs me. Nothing changes the fact that I am her parent. This won’t change no matter her age, or mine. And she won’t really understand this until she too is a parent. She will still need me, maybe not as often as I would like, but there will be moments that she will need me. I’ll be here. I’ll be ready.
She and I will make mistakes. I need to be ready to forgive, ready to say sorry, and never let love be an excuse for anger.
There will be boys. Hopefully just “the one”, but, yes, the potential for a serious relationship is high. I need to be ready and wise with my words and advice and continue to pray for the young man that will capture my daughters heart (Yes, I said “continue”, because I have been praying about this unknown young man for quite some time.) I am praying that he will be a man who’s heart is in love with God first and my daughter second.
I know I will be praying for her, by name every day. I will be praying in preparation, and sometimes in desperation. I know I need to ask others to pray alongside me for her.
I know I need to pray for her professors and advisers. I need to pray that they would do what they do well.
I know that prayer is powerful.
I know that there will be serious conversations that may make both of us uncomfortable but they still need to happen.
I know that this is all about a relationship, mine with her, hers with mine, hers with others, but most importantly Hers with Christ.
I know that this is all about trusting God. God is in this and He wants her to succeed and what He wants for her is really all I want for her.
I need to remind her to pay attention to the things that move her deeply because God is usually in the center of those things.
I know that over the next four years she will discover who God intended her to be and her purpose in His Kingdom.
And I know, that God is good and no one has any idea all the great plans that He has for those of us who love Him. His plans for her, although unknown to both of us, excite me.
Knowing all this, reminds me that although good byes are hard they are also a good reminder of how we are never really in this alone when we are followers of Christ.
“I will thank the Lord, with all my heart. I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done”. Psalm 9:1
If you don’t follow KHC Women’s Facebook page you’ve probably missed out on some other great college-related links:
Focus on the Family Broadcast: The Challenges of College Life – A panel of university presidents share perspectives on the common challenges facing college students, including the dangers of the party lifestyle, the spiritual transition of making their faith their own and the financial costs associated with higher education.
Suzie Lind’s Blog Post “For Those Who Are Starting College”