The next day that I have not looked forward to has come, the day I take our second child to college and leave her there while I return to another continent. When they were small, before elementary school, I dreaded the day they would start school and no longer be at home with me all the time. I told myself not worry about what is not near, “don’t worry about tomorrow for today’s cares are sufficient unto themselves” or something similar to it. I put that to the back of my mind, with practice, and lived each day and school year and marveled at each child’s learning and maturing and gifts.
Next I was saddened as each child began high school (I now have 3 who have started high school) but I came back to the not worrying quote. I tried not to think about it. I don’t know, maybe it is the ostrich method; I choose to think it is the Biblical method of living. God knows what each day will bring and what His plans are so why worry about what may not come to pass, just live each day as it unfolds with the grace and strength God gives you. I know how quickly the high school years are finished and find that I look forward and dread the day that our next child will finish high school. I must train my mind to look back on that old promise given to me; do not worry about tomorrow…
I now have two that have graduated from high school with one in college and one a day away from college. When I brought the first child to start college, I was not looking forward to the day that I drove away and left him at college with me flying to another country. I cried the first two hours after I left him and the heavens seemed to also cry as the rain poured down on the road as I drove on that dark night. With the imminent departure/move in of our second child, a daughter, I was dreading the day of her departure but God had a plan to make the transition smooth for my family and me. A list of the things God put in place for us include her having an internship for the first six months post-high school in which she was only home one weekend out of a two week period, having family in the immediate area where she will be attending school, having certainty that this is where God wants her to go to college, having a certainty that she has learned what she needs to know to go out into the adult world and be able to handle most things, and finally and foremost, having the knowledge that she has a continuing relationship with her Abba Father and His Son, Jesus, throughout each day. It helps that we have been down this road before with her being the second child to go to college but the biggest thing that helps us with this transition is knowing that God prepared the way for her to attend this college and has prepared her for this path. We know that He has her in the palm of His hand and will protect her and that she will have loving, caring family to go to when she needs to be with family.
When I return to our home after taking her to college, I am sure that it will cross my mind to think that I have less than four years left before our next child leaves home to go to college. With this certainty that I will think about it is also the certainty that God has given me the promise that He has everything under control and that I do not need to worry about it. He will give us the peace when it happens and He will grow our child to be mature, spiritually and humanly, so that he can take that step into independent adulthood with the certainty that he will be safe, cared for, and guided with the kindest and wisest Heart. No wonder that Jesus could say, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” These may have been the seven last words Christ uttered before His crucifixion but they were also the seven first words that He spoke when He took that last breath before becoming our Savior. That is what we must do with each day and each tomorrow though it may seem hard at the time; we should go forward not thinking that this is the last but that it is the beginning and to go into those steps knowing God is leading, preparing the way, and protecting.