Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Desires for my Daughter

My daughter is center stage.

My oldest is away on her first trip with the church youth group. In her 12 years of life, I’ve never been away from her this long. Especially with no form of contact. Even though cell phone service where she is at is terrible, I’m second thinking our no cell phone decision.

We were excited to be able to give her this opportunity. My husband and I embrace any experience that will help her grow her relationship with God as well as her friendships. While this week is more of a service project than a “camp” experience, it is my understanding that there is plenty of fun to be had as well. She will be learning the value of hard work this week as well as building on the relationships we so desperately desire for her.

I was a little caught off guard by my emotions on the morning of her departure date. Tears hit me in a simple conversation and my daughter was quick to inform everyone about my response. When she asked me why I was crying, I gave her an honest answer. “Basically, it’s a week where I have zero control over your life.” That’s the honest truth. While I managed to keep it together as we dropped her off with her youth group, it was not an easy letting go. I trust the leaders completely and look forward to seeing how God grows her through this experience. I really do… but WOW…

The fact that God would use my daughter’s experience of going on a youth trip to grow my relationship with Him never really occurred to me. Yet, here I sit, recognizing that I am forced to trust God in a way that I am not when she is here with me 24/7. It’s a taste of the future I suppose.

So, I find myself praying for her safety and asking God to grow her relationship with Him. And in the midst of my request, I realize that the two may not go hand and hand and I think I understand. The act of maturing doesn’t always come with a guaranteed safety net. Most of the time, it happens exactly opposite of that. I realize it in my own life. It is in the hard times that I am forced to lean on my Savior. It isn’t easy but I tell God that I recognize she is ultimately His.

Phew! And I thought being inducted into motherhood was hard…

These years of adolescence are tearing at my heart more than the lack of sleep from caring for a newborn. I cheered her through those early years, thrilled to see her enter a point of self-sufficiency, only to find myself fighting against her initiation to adulthood. There was a reason I was in tears when I found out I was pregnant with her… I didn’t think I was ready to be a mom… and I was right. I’m still not. Nothing can prepare us for the way these children fill our hearts and tear them apart at the same time. Not a thing.

Will you pray for my daughter (and me)? I want nothing more than her to come back desiring more. Yet I know it will be difficult to send her away again next month.


This is a moment where I’m faced with the words I preach. I’ve quoted 3 John 1:4: “Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my children are following the way of truth.” Do I really believe it enough… that I would give anything to help cultivate that result? I want to.

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