This weekend, we traveled with a truck bed full of a little girl’s best memories: paintings, blankets, trinkets, and yes. Even a stuffed animal or two. We are taking our girl to college.
She’s our oldest, so it’s as raw as it can possibly get. However, I don’t know how this will ever feel like an old hat-it will always hurt with each of our babies, and next it’s our Irish twins. Two at once.
We’ve sat through parent sessions and scoped out where to find sushi. We’ve trained her up, so she discovered where to get the best coffee. We hung lights and assembled a swivel chair.
We even helped navigate the awkward roommate meet-cute when we were in the middle of unpacking, and the roomy’s family descended into that tiny room. We did what most people do. We said our friendly introductions and then pretended they weren’t there while we unpacked our kid’s underwear. It’s a learning curve for all of us.
We are each processing. At different times and different ways. We take turns being quiet for longer than usual. I’ve noticed we’ve each hung back at different times, and I assume they are doing the same thing I did. Wiping tears that appear out of nowhere when struck with the thought that this is real. Our baby girl is grown.
Last night there was a dedication service. She’s attending a Christian college, so worship. Then teaching. Then prayer.
Which translates to tear. Tear. And sobbing. They asked us to pray a blessing over our kids. We grouped as families, so it was just the three of us.
So many thoughts ran through my mind. I was taken back to the time it was always just us three musketeers. The years between Izzy and Elijah when we tried so hard to have another baby. We lost two in that span of time. I remember praying with all my heart to be content to remain just the three of us. God saw us through.
I also couldn’t stop running through all the things I still have to teach her! Like a ticker tape at the bottom of the news screen. I’m not ready! There’s still so much to say.
So I prayed and thanked God for trusting us with this girl and was mostly a jumble and mess of thoughts and hopes and regrets and wishes.
But then her daddy prayed and said all the things that little girl and I needed to hear. What we had been trying to say, but couldn’t quite place the words.
To the men here. You need to know something. God has called you to lead your family. You are called to lead in love and prayer and to seek God for every answer. We depend on you.
From the beginning of man, God has placed you before us. There’s a reason your shoulders are broad and your physical strength is great. There’s a reason you don’t cry quite as easily. You are called to lead us.
The family dynamic has long been skewed. We could probably trace it all the way to that minute when Eve took that apple and Adam blamed her that he ate it. But this doesn’t need to dictate us now.
Daddies. Pray. Pray for your wives. Your daughters. Your sons. Pray for your legacy! Your words move mountains. Your example creates a ripple effect of boys who became godly men. Your prayers fill in the insecurities the enemy attempts to place in your daughters and they remind those girls of their worth.
So much has transpired over the past couple days to bring me comfort and hope. To instill confidence that our girl is going to be amazing in this place. That she was in fact created for such a time as this.
But when her daddy prayed, she knew it too.