Twelve years, an acceptance letter, and a cap and gown already pushed to the back of the closet.
You meant for it to last longer.
When they were born, someone whispered it all happens so fast. So you made sure to memorize the way her face broke wide open with joy when she made the team. You cheered fervently when he broke the state record and held him quietly when an injury abruptly ended that same record-breaking season. You kissed bumps and scrapes, packed countless lunches, and hosted their friends every weekend. You volunteered, sat for hours helping with homework, and prayed over every hurt and heartbreak.
There were seasons you wished would pass quicker than others. There was a year that wore thin every last ounce of patience and one that reminded you to slow down and just be present. You have doubted and worried and as they got older the years have felt shorter. And then-so suddenly it seems-they’re ready.
You’ve spent eighteen years clearing the road ahead of them and now it’s time to walk beside them.
Your graduate has entered a beautiful phase of life that is bursting with promise and opportunity. It is freedom and independence insulated by tender adulthood. They may be moving across the country or across town, but they are moving toward a life independent from the safety of home.
This is where the rubber meets the spiritual road.
Meaningful decisions and difficult choices wait for them on the other side of that worn threshold. Who they are and what they believe must stand in confidence in front of a big audience with even bigger opinions. You may think now is the time for bent-knee prayer, but right now is not when God chooses to show up. You may be petitioning God to walk with them on this journey and protect them from the pitfalls of this world, but this isn’t where God joins them.
Because God was there from the beginning.
He showed up in that delivery room before she took her very first breath. He was already on that field before your arms could rush to comfort him. God witnessed every first milestone; He rejoiced right beside you. He placed people in their life who spoke Truth and allowed those who didn’t to challenge everything you ever taught them. Be proud, because they held their head high. Your children have been pursued and cherished. They have been held and humbled. He has seen every stumble and kept them from falling. For a season He quietly stepped away without ever leaving. God’s love for them has been unfailing.
It’s not about turning them over to Him in faith because they were His first. It’s accepting that your heart now walks ahead of you into a place you can not go.
Well done, parents! Every kiss and hug, each way you steered and encouraged them toward the Cross, they now carry with them.
You can find April on FB at A Well Done Life