What a crazy few weeks it has been. We dropped our first daughter off at college to begin her freshman year. We’ve started school with the remaining three kids. It has been quite a change to no longer have our oldest at home. There’s an empty spot where her car used to be parked. I’m not wondering what she is up to when she comes and goes or when she will be home. We have kept in touch quite frequently these first two weeks. At first, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about the whole thing. Yes, it has been a transition. But it has also been great.
We went for move-in day and helped her move into her dorm. There were three hundred students and their parents lugging stuff from the parking deck over to the dorm. While my daughter and I unpacked, made the bed, wiped down drawers and loaded them, hung curtains, clothes, twinkly lights and pictures, my husband put the futon together and helped carry the heavy things into the room. We got to meet her roommate and her parents, as well as some of the other people on her hall.
We took her to a nice Mexican lunch (our FAV family food), and walked around taking pictures on campus. Finally, when we were done, I gave her a gift bag full of surprises and notes as we drove away. Someone had told me not to bawl my eyes out right in front of her, so I kept it under control for the most part. I cried a little as we hugged and then jumped into the car. We drove away and a few more tears came out. I knew she was doing the same.
Psalm 121:5-8 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
But after we were down the road, I felt a peace. All the 18 years we had worked at being intentional are now paying off.
Why did I feel okay about sending her 6 hours away?
- Because I know that despite my regrets and failures, God works all things for our good. He would take the areas where I failed and fill in the gaps that I missed. Yes, there are definite things I regret. There were multiple pieces of curriculum that I had good intentions of teaching her and never “got around to it.” Many Bible studies were half finished -due to a changing season or environment where that wasn’t going to work anymore. Yes, there were fights as mom and first-born daughter that I wish we’d never had. There were words I should have said better or differently or NOT. AT. ALL. There were some lessons in cooking and economics and car maintenance that should have been done, but we couldn’t cram it all in at the last minute. But I know that God’s got this. He is filling in my faults and mistakes and making the rough places smooth.
- Because I know that she has a firm foundation. She knows who she belongs to and who she can turn to for help. For years, I took my kids to Precept Bible study. I’m sure the ladies all thought I was quite unusual, dragging my 4 homeschooled kids to a weekly women’s Bible study. But they accepted us and loved on our kids. My kids saw me trying to learn and grow in the Word. She especially saw it, because she was the oldest. When she became a high school senior and a driver, she began to also make choices to be connected to groups that were studying the Word. She has already tried three churches and two student ministries at her college and I think she’s found a great connecting group of like-minded believers.
- Because I know she learned how to study. She was a part of the Classical Conversations program for three years and dual-enrolled in college classes for 2 years. During this time, she learned valuable study skills, as well as lessons on what not to do, like procrastinate your project until the night before! Learning how to teach yourself the chapter, outlining, brainstorming essays and speeches, flash cards, and using online tools like Youtube, Google drive, and Khan Academy. She is very prepared for any assignment that is thrown her way. I am confident she has the skills to succeed academically if she chooses to use them.
- Because I know her leadership experience in high school will pave the way to new adventures in college. I worked hard during high school to help her find places to serve and lead. Just because we homeschooled, does not mean we were isolated. Not by any stretch of the imagination! She had multiple exposures to volunteer work, officer positions, giving speeches for elections, job interviews, etc. She is well-prepared for leading others and applying for positions of leadership. I am not concerned that she is not going to be connected or serving in any way!
- Because I know who holds the future. The main reason I can trust her decision to go off to college and make her way in this great big world is that I know He is totally sovereign over all things that happen to her. He has a perfect plan for her future, both short term, and long term and I can trust that He is going to make it happen. I don’t have to worry or be anxious for ANY. THING. It was really like launching her off into a great adventure.
But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.
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