Children. We hold their hands encouraging them to take their first steps. We pick them up, dust them off, and offer kisses and hugs when they fall. We’re their biggest cheerleaders. We watch them struggle. Pray for them daily, point them in the right direction, and even discipline them to help them get back on track. We anxiously wait for them to grow up, but hold on to their childhood tightly and guard it carefully. We are proud when they make wise choices. We love them even through life’s blunders. They are precious gifts placed in our hands for a few short years. And then, they’re off.
In Rachel’s case, Liberty University.
It was great to be back on campus again. And we got to hang out with some great friends. And we stayed with an awesome family.
And made some new discoveries like… Dunkin’ Donuts right outside Rachel’s dorm? This could mean trouble.
I admit it. I cried. A lot. I knew I would miss her presence in the car and at home. I like being around my girls. They are all full of energy and excitement. They love Jesus and they love people. We have fun together. Yes, sometimes we cry together, too. (There are 6 girls, after all.)
Rachel’s first night in the dorm was hard on all of us.
That night Hanissa asked, “Mommy, Rachel stay at school?”
“Yes, she’s staying in her dorm tonight.”
Her voice quivered as she asked, “Mommy, see Rachel no? Me cry now?”
“You can cry if your sad, but you’ll see Rachel tomorrow.”
She lit up, “Ok, me happy now. I see Rachel.”
Even with the tears and the difficulty of saying goodbye, I know she is ready to run this race that is before her. It won’t always be easy, but during those times she’ll learn when she is weak, He is strong. There will be great victories and she will learn to recognize God at work all around her. There will be failures, too. She will see our Father’s compassion, mercy, and forgiveness firsthand. She is ready to learn these lessons and many more. I know this is true, BUT…
When we huddled together to say one last family prayer before driving away…I cried. We all cried. And it was beautiful.