As soon as my mind lulled from a deep sleep to a state of partial awakeness, I knew it was the morning I had been dreading for 18 1/2 years. The first day of college for my first born child.
Before my eyes were even open, tears trickled down my face.
The mature side of me was so excited for Morgan. Thrilled about her new season of life and all the fun and challenging opportunities that lie ahead. But the mommy side of me felt like dead bolting her bedroom door so I could keep her safe and sound and always within an arm’s reach.
Instead, I walked upstairs to her room, crawled under her covers and spent a few minutes talking and snuggling with her before we started our busy day.
We spent hours packing up all the items purchased for her new home away from home into the car, and then headed towards the university.
Up to that point, other than a few tears earlier that morning, I had held up pretty good. Things were going fine, until my husband tried to give me a pep talk – which did not pep me up, I must say. His intentions were good, and I listened quietly while he said things like “we have to let the kids grow up”; “she’s an awesome girl and is going to be fine”; and “she’s not that far away from home”.
But when he said “and we can’t keep them in pigtails forever” – the dam broke. Tears burst forth and I couldn’t stop them.
But…but…but… I love pigtails! I love frilly dresses, and big pink bows! I love black patton shoes, stuffed animals and Hello Kitty pocketbooks. I love back-to-school shopping, taking pictures the first day of school, cheerleading uniforms and watching them play sports all year. I love tucking them in each night, praying with them, kisses on the forehead, and turning out the light knowing they will be safely snuggled into their beds each morning when I arise.
Fotunately that morning despite the busyness around the house, I had stopped to read my Jesus Calling daily devotion which said this: “FIND ME in the midst of the maelstrom. Sometimes events whirl around you so quickly that they become a blur. Whisper My Name in recognition that I am still with you. Without skipping a beat in the activities that occupy you, you find strength and Peace through praying My Name.”
Throughout the whirlwind of our day, although we were laughing and enjoying the move-in process, there were many moments when I secretly felt as if I were on the brink of an emotional meltdown. Yet each time that happened, I remembered God’s message to me that morning, and I prayed the name of Jesus over and over. Secretly whispering His name under my breath – Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. With each utter of His name, a feeling of peace would wash over me once again, helping me hold back the tears.
When everything was in place and the room was decorated, the time came when we had to depart. I felt the ugly cry coming on. You know the kind where your face contorts, your nose runs and you can’t talk like a normal person. But the name of Jesus brought strength once again, equipping me to say our goodbyes with smiles and hugs. And a few tears, of course.
I love being a mom to all three of my children, so the thought of my sweet daughter not being there every morning when I wake up, meandering downstairs with her sleepy look and bouncy bun on the top of her head just makes my heart heavy and my eyes blurry. The reality of not seeing her daily makes me ache inside.
After all, what mom doesn’t wish her little girl could stay in pigtails forever?
But, I also love who God has uniquely created her to be. Not perfect, but perfectly beautiful in every way that matters. Not without mistakes, but with the ability to grow from them. Not without regrets of hard lessons learned, but with building of her character along the way. With a love of the arts, God-given talent, a decorative flair, and the courage to be her own person.I know I will learn to love this new season of life just as much, as I watch her become the woman God created her to be.
And who knows, maybe when she comes home for holiday break, she’ll ask me to help with her pigtails. And that will bring a smile to this momma’s face.
Maybe you are a momma going through a similar experience today, either a first day of kindergarten, middle school, high school, or college.
Or maybe you are facing an even more difficult circumstance, feeling afraid that you don’t have the strength to get through it.
Might I encourage you, no matter what situation you are facing, to whisper the name of Jesus throughout your day? Each time you feel weak and incapable, simply whisper His name.
You’ll be amazed at the peace you will be filled with, even if your circumstance is not at all peaceful.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him A)”> to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, B)”> that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, C)”> in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, E)”> to the glory of God the Father.