We discussed it for a year...maybe more. We planned, we saved, we "prepared," and we packed. We knew it was coming. We were excited. We ARE excited. And yet...I feel a bit like Hannah of the Bible. Walking away from my child and leaving her behind to find her God designed purpose in life. Giving her back I suppose. This child that I nursed, cuddled, taught to walk and talk, introduced to the 80's, whom I love is now a young woman.
We moved her into college this weekend and said our goodbyes today. She will not be sleeping under my roof every night. She will not be fighting with her sister at least once a week. She is embarking on her own journey that God has designed just for her and it is a strange almost surreal thing. It's a bit like leaving a part of your heart behind that you will see later.
Have I mentioned that her college is a mere twenty minutes from my house? That is by car of course, certainly if you chose to ride a horse or a bike it would take longer. I know it seems ridiculous. Perhaps it is but maybe it isn't. No matter how far away the college is, the entire family dynamic is now changed.
This child of mine will not be sleeping under the same roof as her family every night. This child of mine will not be here for breakfast and dinner. This child of mine will now learn self-discipline on an entirely different level. This child of mine belongs to God.
She will come to visit on breaks but even with her being close, it is my duty to allow her to learn to depend on God and herself. It is my duty to allow her to form a new family within the halls of her dorm. To release my hold and not only hope but expect that there are others that God has in mind to make a difference in her life; that will ultimately help to mold and shape her into the woman He has in mind for His purpose. It is my duty and it is hard.
My heart yearns for the days when she was young and she needed me. She doesn't need me as much anymore. She may want me, but she doesn't need me. She is amazing. I can say this because she is my child. If you know her, or think you know her, allow me to tell you that you don't. You don't know her. You think you do, but you don't. You only know, just as you only know of me, the side of her that she allows you to see. My daughter is smart. She is caring and sensitive. She gets her feelings hurt easily. She has a hard time trusting people. She gets along better with people older than her than with her own peer group. She is incredibly funny. If you don't know this about her, you are missing out on one of her most incredible qualities. She is also fiercely protective of her siblings and if I get sad she senses it and allows me to cry on her shoulder. She is destined for great things.
I know all of these things and through all of my excitement for all she is yet to be, all that she is about to do and see and know, I miss her. It's been an hour, it's been a minute, it's been a week, it's been a year, and I miss her. I miss her and part of me can't wait to see the other side. The side where she has learned what her life calling is, she is mature and self-assured. Where instead of not wanting to make eye contact with people for fear of whatever they may think of her, she holds her head high and makes eye contact with everyone because the only one she is concerned with pleasing is God. I look forward to that day and that is the vision I held in my mind as I walked through first one door and then another door and came home.
A quote shared with us this weekend was this: "The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." -Helen Heller What a profound statement. Don't you think? Allow me to apply this to my current situation. I refuse to be blind to the needs of my child. While I could see her anytime I wanted, that is not what she needs. She doesn't need me to be in her way. I'm no longer first string, I'm sitting the bench. Oh sure she can still come to me if she needs something, money, advice, or just an ear. But we both have to learn that our roles are changing. We need to keep the vision of the future in front of us. We need to have a vision of the future. We need to trust God's plan.
So with a vision of her bringing friends home on break, calling me to tell me she isn't coming home because she has a better offer, walking across a stage to receive a diploma that she earned, and fulfilling her life calling, I know that not only will she do great but I can allow her to be. I can learn to sleep at night with her at college. I can learn to cook for four instead of five. I can learn to not tell her to do her homework. I can learn to not call or text her EVERY day. I can learn to open my grip so I can receive something more. Can you?