Note: I thought I’d post an older article I wrote in 2008 when we dropped our daughter off at college. If you want to read about the adventure of dropping our son off at college in 2010, go to this article here: https://refreshinghearts.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=51&action=edit
Have you ever been given a gift, cherished it, nourished it & then “let it go”? Almost 19 years ago, Dave and I were given the gift of a beautiful daughter, Rachel Kay. Now after 18 ½ years of cherishing & nourishing, we moved her into her college dorm on Saturday, August 30th. It was and has been a ‘bitter-sweet’ time this past year leading up to this moment. I had decided last year as she began her Senior year that as we went through the year, we were going to ‘celebrate’ each moment and enjoy them as the ‘lasts’ we called them….the last basketball game, the last prom, the last semester, and then finally the last day of school. This kept Rachel’s spirits up as the soon to be graduate and alum of Fridley High School celebrated these days. We all laughed & congratulated on her ‘last’ of this and ‘last’ of that. It wasn’t until May that the ‘lasts’ started to get me down as I realized….I only had one ‘last’ week left with her when she can back from work at camp this summer & she would be off to college. Once she graduated and she went off to camp, we had a taste of the ‘empty nest’ with both Rachel and Kyle working at camp. It was quiet as Dave and I spent our nights relaxing or riding our bicycles to prepare for the bike trip to VCBC in July. I had good days and bad days with them both gone & realizing the ‘letting go’ day was coming near. On the bad days, I missed both of my kids terribly, cried, but then I prayed and rejoiced in the fact they were serving God in a wonderful place and affecting the lives of many children and youth at VCBC and the day wasn’t so bad after all. In August, I felt God calling me to spend more time in his Word so I began a new Bible study by Beth Moore, “Beloved Disciple” which is about the life of John. As I read about the calling of James and John, sons of Zebedee (Mark 1:20), I realized that Zebedee had trained his sons to do the family business of fishing and then one day, they up and left him to follow Jesus and fish for the souls of men. Zebedee knew my pain. I began to reflect on others in the Bible who had to ‘let go’ of their children and they did it even when their children were infants or really young! Moses’ mother put her baby in the bulrushes & actually nursed her son so Pharoah’s daughter could raise him as her own (Exodus 2:1-10). Hannah prayed for a son and God answered her prayer. She dedicated Samuel to God and presented him to Eli to stay in the temple once he was weaned. (1 Samuel 1:21-27). Even, Mary, who was given the privilege of birthing our Savior, had to ‘let go’ of ‘her son’ to roam all over and preach the Good News and later to see him crucified on a cross. God, the Father, understands. He watched His Son die on the cross and heard the excruciating words of Jesus, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46). For centuries, men and women have been ‘letting go’ of the precious gifts that God had given them and ‘let God’ transplant them from here to their next destination. I think Beth Moore sums it up well, “Just about the time you get to reap some of the fruit of your parenting labors, the young, flourishing tree gets transplanted elsewhere”. I am thankful for what God has done in my life in the ‘last’ year and for the many friends who emailed or asked me ‘how I am doing’ and gave me hugs of comfort. We have officially joined the ranks of millions of parents who have had to “let go and let God transplant!” Blessed be His Name!
Originally written 9/1/08