this morning i saw this post by Cathy Zielske and, man, did it ever hit home.
this girl, my oldest.
i knew it had been coming since the start of her Freshman year in high school.
i remember thinking and knowing that this time with her over the next four years would fly.
i remember the feeling of wanting to hold on and to savor and to even try to stall time a little because i was dreading that next phase of her life.
don't get me wrong, i was also SUPER excited for her as well.
i knew she was gifted to accomplish great things with her life. she is so intelligent. my husband and i often joke about how she got so smart! ;)
but, i also knew the void that she would leave.
i would secretly cry in the shower because i didn't want her to know that i was feeling sad. it was my time to process without worrying her.
i would look back and feel regret for the parent that i wasn't to her in the early years.
i was also thankful, SO thankful for the relationship that we began to forge when she became a teenager-- the time when most moms and daughters bash wills, we became closer. she wasn't a fussy girly girl. she was easy.
she knew me. we both have a pretty sarcastic sense of humor and can dish some pretty good stuff back and forth. makes us both laugh. :) she became a happy place for me. a friend.
the time came for her to graduate and leave. luckily she would be going to the local University here, but she was moving out which meant big changes from a family of 5 to 4...that empty spot at the table and in my heart. what would i do?
i felt pretty confident that i would soldier on... i would see her and, i mean, with texting and Facebook and technology it would be like she never left, kinda...right?
the week before she was to leave and move out, i tragically and unexpectedly lost my father.
that in and of itself set me in a tailspin. emotionally i began to crumble.
the days at home without her were filled with more sadness than i had ever imagined.
understand, i am not a big crier by nature, yet, i found myself crying out of the blue.
life felt out of control. i missed her more than i had planned or intended to because life was
completely out of balance and unsure.
the next few months, i began to heal. great friends to talk to and i knew that were praying for me.
my husband was more for me during that time than i could ever imagine. and i poured myself back into my hobby of scrapbooking like i hadn't done in years. it was therapeutic.
so, now this little girl...
she isn't so little anymore. she is on a mission trip this week with the college church ministering to little kids. i have heard from her... it is HOT and HUMID there. she told me a story about how the children there love her hair! :) they were amazed with how long and silky it is--putting it in braids.
she said the children get attached very quickly, wanting to hold hands. i told her that is awesome and it is a humbling thing how her beauty is a blessing to them. but i have a feeling that those children are changing her heart as well. God is amazing and works like that.
i am praying for her and her team's safety there. i am praying for her and the children she is interacting with this week. i know it will be life-changing.
i am anticipating getting to see her smiling face on Saturday. even if she is tired, it will be like a soothing balm to my heart.
this girl has changed my life. made me who i am today and makes me a better person.
i am excited to see her grow and mature, even if that means apart from me and her Dad.
it works like that, i know. God continues to give me grace along the way.