As I sit here in a coffee shop with my daughter, Allison, I look across the table and see the evidence of the biggest and hardest and most exciting change to come. She will soon be leaving our little nest to fly with her own wings on the path that God has been preparing for her. I am excited for her, really I am, but it it hard to imagine our day to day life without her in it. With her, she will take a joy and light that makes our home so bright. She will take her strength and resolve that inspires me. She will take her compassion and servant's heart that makes those around her see the world differently. So many things she will take with her and make her own way in this world.
I am learning through this process of letting go that it is futile to dwell on the things she will take. Instead, I am trying to appreciate the things she will leave behind. So many memories and lessons she has taught us in these eighteen years. As I have watched her walk through the hard times she has had to face in her short life I have leaned on her strength and faith and I have been changed by it. With her bubbly spirit, she drew the goofy and silly parts out of her serious mama and taught me to laugh more, sometimes out loud even. Her passion to do the right thing and her sadness when she messed up reminded me that Godly sorrow is necessary to live a holy life. Her grace and forgiveness gave me permission and freedom to grow and learn and fail as a Christian mother. Watching her openness to new experiences is guiding me through this season of change. She is leaving our home a better place and she will always be a part of us.
There are things that I hope she takes with her and holds in her heart through the years to come. I hope she takes with her the assurance that she is loved unconditionally and that wherever we are will always be her home. I hope she takes the confidence of knowing that we are so proud of her and the person she is now and that pride will only grow as we watch her in the years to come. I hope she takes the lessons she has learned from watching her flawed and imperfect parents fall down and get up again... and again... and again. I hope she takes the faith and hope we have tried to plant in her that you can make the world a better place when you serve and love those God places in your path. Most of all, I hope she takes the promise that she has watched me try so hard to live that no matter what this world and the people around us try to tell us- we are daughters of the King, dearly loved and beautiful, and created to bring Him glory with our lives.