Just a warning........this is raw emotion from a mom who is in disbelief that she is old enough to have a daughter one year away from college - I have heard that these are normal emotions for a mom at my stage (thanks to those friends who have shared their experiences with me) so here goes:
Three years ago when this photo was taken I had no idea what the next few years would hold. I was entering the world of having a teenage daughter for the first time and as excited as I was, I had a great deal of fear. Three years later I look ahead and feel the same feelings as I watch my oldest grow up so much faster than I could have dreamed that she would.
This week has been full of emotion for me. I have laughed, I have cried, I have prayed (and prayed), I have been deep in thought and I have tried not to think........I remember taking this photo of Megan when she was thirteen like it was yesterday. I remember feeling as if God was saying, "Mendy, You have helped to give her wings and it is almost time to let her fly." That day I quickly wiped a tear as I finished snapping the picture on that precious trip that Megan and I were able to take alone for her thirteenth birthday as I realized that my role as her mother was starting to change.
Megan is an amazing young lady. She amazes me with the way that she serves our family and more importanly our God. She has a cute smallgroup of kindergarteners that she teaches every Sunday morning, she leads worship in our high school ministry each week, she loves singing in Kidstuf , she is a patient and loving big sister, and she loves to fill our basement with friends any chance that she has. It has been a joy to watch her grow so much over the last few years- It hasn't been without its challenges but it has been so sweet to watch her become who God has created her to be.
Sunday afternoon we drove almost five hours to Greenville, North Carolina to attend a campus visit on Monday at East Carolina University with Megan. As we toured the campus on Monday morning reality set in that a year from now Megan will be finishing up her senior year of high school and heading off to college. As I looked around the campus I could imagine her there. I could see her full of life and full of activity enjoying every second of campus life. Yet as silly as it seems, I was so excited for her but my heart was breaking for me. For the time that was over, never to be relived.
I certainly don't want to be selfish but as I look ahead I see how quickly my time with her living in our home will vanish. I know that we have five more children (and hopefully six soon) here at home yet I know that when one child leaves our family dynamics will never be the same. When my primary job for sixteen years has been to pour my life into making sure our kids are happy, well adjusted, healthy and that they know how much God loves them- It is hard to think that my role will be trasitioning with Megan. It has transtioned so much over the years but this transition will no longer be daily. I know that we have over a year but I know how quickly that year will pass when I start looking at it in months, weeks and days.
The next year is filling up fast for Megan. She already has plans this summer that will take her to Mexico to nanny for some good friend of ours who are serving as missionaries for three weeks, she is going to be a chaprone for a kid's camp for a week, attend camp with her high school community, cousins camp for a week, a week with my parents, another missions trip to Mexico and then summer will quickly be over. I am thrilled with the choices that she is making and the places that God is using her. I certainly don't want to hold her back and I am praying that I will be the mother that she needs for me to be as she begins to fly more and more on her own each day.
Just last night I was at soccer practice watching our youngest three practice when two sweet little girls from our church came walking past. They were giggling like little three and four year olds giggle and as I watched them I felt tears forming in the corners of my eyes. I thought to myself.......that season is over for you Mendy, never to return. I quickly heard God whisper, "Yes, but you loved your kids well in that season." I had to smile as I thought back to the mischief days of Megan and Kaylee being toddlers.
As I drove away from the soccer field alone last night I thought back to the past sixteen years and God reminded me of the special moments and it was a precious time of Him reminding me that I have done what He has called me to do- Mother my children well. Have I done it perfectly? No. Will I continue to mess up? Yes, but His grace is enough to not only cover me and my mess ups but my also my grown up daughter who is spreading her wings. He reminded me once again that he loves her more than I do. There was such a sweet joy in the car as I drove and just as scripture says, "I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth." 3 John 1:4
I know the next year will pass quickly yet I also know that I am going to be intentional with every moment. What about you? How much time do you have left to invest in those that are most important to you? You will never get this time back. What are you doing today to show them how much they are treasured?