In the past couple of weeks, I have entered into a new season of life. Instead of having three children at home, I now only have two. Instead of schooling three children, I now school two. Instead of cooking enough food for five people, I now cook for four. Instead of kissing three children good night, I am now down to two. You see, my oldest child has left the nest. She is attending a Christian gap year program in Pine Mountain, Ga. called Impact 360. It has been really hard to let her go…much harder than any of us had anticipated. I know that as parents, this is what we have been called to do; to raise up our children in the way they should go, and then let them go. But….it sounds much easier than it really is! It’s so hard not to dwell on how much we miss her. On how our family unit, as we have known it for the last 18 years, will never be the same again. On how there will be days that I won’t get to talk to her or know what she’s doing.
Oh, it’s a good thing…it’s just hard! Impact 360 is such an awesome program and we are so blessed that Katie was accepted as a student there. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the place that the Lord has called her to for this time in her life. We know that she is in a wonderful environment with people who really care about her. We know that the Lord is going to do great things in and through Katie over these next nine months. We know all these things, yet…it’s still hard.
It was such a hard thing to leave her and come home without her. I know that it is the natural course of things….but nothing about leaving my child felt natural. A day or two after we dropped Katie off, the Lord was so good to remind me of something. He reminded me that we did not leave Katie there alone, but with God her Father! He is by far a greater parent, caregiver and protector than Greg and I could ever be! She is in good hands!! He goes before her and behind her and He hems her in all around! He is her God and He’s got great things planned for her this year!!
So, if you are in the stage of life where your children are little and you feel like you never have a moment to yourself….remember this! I know that people tell you all the time that if you blink, your children will be gone. Well, it’s true. I blinked (it sure doesn’t seem like 18 years ago!), and the first one is gone. Not that it’s over…..not at all! Just that it’s different now, and (I think) I can say…I’m ready!!