In 46 days we will move my daughter into a dorm room 6 hours away at the University of Missouri and then get in our car and drive home without her. None of the parenting books, MOPS meetings, Facebook posts or blog articles I’ve read have prepared my heart for what it is feeling right now.
I have never subscribed to “helicopter” parenting and have often been known to freely spout the wisdom that “our job as parents is to help them grow up to be contributing members of society, to leave the nest and become full fledged adults, blah, blah blah.” That advice always seemed relevant and wise when the next step was walking into a 3 year old classroom for 2 hours or hopping on a bus to join the ranks of full day school children. I relished the increased freedom I had when my children were finally old enough to leave me for a few hours each day. I had finally found time to take a shower or read a book or plan a meal in peace.
But this, this is very different. Our home will no longer be her “home base” and I am NOT cool with that. Oh, believe me, I’m trying to “suck it up” and make nice with this idea but honestly, it isn’t working.
Everything is changing so quickly around me this summer. One girlfriend is preparing to send her baby boy off to the military, and another just moved her mother into her home and is watching her slowly slip away to the ravages of dementia. We had to put our dog down after 16 years…so much change.
I remember when it seemed as if nothing was changing. One summer felt the same as the last. I was harried, tired, stressed out and begging for quiet. The kids woke up too early, made too much noise, fought too much, were bored way too often. Back then my girlfriends and I would spend each Wednesday watching the kids play in the pool, drinking margaritas, order fast food for dinner and play till the sun went down. We counted down the days till they all went back to school.
I guess I’m still counting down the days…
Today I was reading about God as ELOHIM, which means mighty creator, the one who was at the beginning of it all. The most ancient of all.
I’ve often thought about the Creator as the one who made everything I can see…mountains, trees, animals, the sun and the sky, the moon and the stars. But this summer, my eyes see the Creator as the one who created the texture of life. Happiness, sadness, love that makes the heart ache, the joy of memory, the pain of loss, the music of a baby’s cry, the warmth of a child’s unrestrained giggle. There is so much more of the Creator surrounding us than we will ever realize. Maybe it’s summers like this one when my heart is feeling more than my eyes are seeing that help me glimpse the Creator more fully.
The Bible says God created us in his own image. It’s possible that our physical image is a reflection of him but even more so I believe we reflect him in our unending capacity to feel and experience life, relationships, friendship and love. And I’m awestruck that all the emotions my heart can hold are only a glimpse of the ELOHIM who created me.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…
Soaking up summer has a different meaning to me than it ever has before. We are soaking up our time together, we are soaking up our love for each other, we are soaking up memories and kisses and hugs. I’m grateful that I’ve been created to experience all of these things even when they are painful because it all is a reflection of the God who created us.
There is a line in a song that says, “When the night is holding on to me, God is holding on.” Sometimes this summer, I feel like this. But the next line says, “You are good.” This is the refrain of my heart. . . You are good.
ELOMHIM YOU ARE GOOD.