Today is July 15, 2016.
I am noting the date because I want my girls to look back and remember this day, this week, this summer. I have affectionately titled Summer 2016 as "The Summer of Change". Lessons that will be vital to their walk into adulthood.
Lesson Number 1: God Designed Seasons with Purpose.
18 years ago this August, we welcomed our oldest daughter into the world. We entered the season of parenthood. This August, we deliver her to the college she loves for the next season of her life. She is ready and we are excited for her! But to be perfectly honest, this graduation/moving to college/living on her own season has my heart on a continuous Space Mountain loop!
In this season, I am continually reminding myself of three things:
1. She is not really "mine".
Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
She is a gift from God, entrusted to us for a season. In order to complete the purpose HE has for her, she must step into the next season. (And step into that season without a weeping mess of a mom begging her to stay!)
2. We did not raise her to stay at home.
Psalm 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.
An arrow does not make an impact until it leaves the hand of the warrior. From the moment I held her, I knew my goal as her parent was to raise a child that would leave our home as a world-changer. My prayer has always been that my children love God with everything they are and develop a heart that is sensitive to his voice and calling. (And that I wouldn't mess them up!) That was all very easy to pray when she was 6 pounds of complete dependence! However, when you are looking at a study full of dorm supplies waiting for move-in day, that prayer is sometimes accompanied by tears! We have placed our arrow into the bow and are preparing to let go.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1: 9-11
3. God is faithful to complete his purpose.
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. (Consecrated is a nice "churchy" word that simply means set apart. SO...you can read that last line as "before you were born, I set you apart.")
As sweet and "good" as my dreams and hopes for my children are, God's plans are the best. It is quite comforting to me to know, and BELIEVE in the deepest part of my being, that the Almighty,
the Creator of the Universe,
the Beginning and the End....
Knew ever detail of my child's life BEFORE her conception. Each and every single day of her life was already notated in the Kingdom planner. She was set apart for good works that God planned in advance!
And I am sure of this, that HE who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
So we stand and quote Ecclesiastes, 3:1, For EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven....
First lesson, Seasons have PURPOSE. As our parenting season begins to change, I am so thankful. Thankful that God is faithful. Thankful that I have an incredible husband who is active in the lives of our children. Thankful for parents who modeled parenting with purpose and intention. Thankful for a church that invests in our children.
But most of all, I am thankful that regardless of the season we are in, God is with us. He has gone before us and made a way.
Now...remind me of this when I drive home August 20 with one less child in the backseat. :)