It is a typical autumn night in the Pacific Northwest. The wind is blowing and the rain is pouring down. But in one way this night is anything but typical.
Tonight I locked the deadbolt behind my little girl.
Usually when she goes out at night, I only lock the doorknob lock because that’s the one she has a key to. I lock the deadbolt only after she has returned home and is safe inside. But tonight, when she went out, I locked the deadbolt. The reason is simple, but almost impossible for me to grasp…
She doesn’t live here anymore.
When our daughter came to us, she was just seven. My husband and I were so in love with that chubby, bubbly, button-nosed, accident prone little darling. That was just over eleven years ago. Tonight a slender, beautiful, charming, and graceful grown up young woman walked out of our front door to start life on her own—and we love her more than ever. As I watched her go, I felt so proud of her, and at the same time my heart was seized with a kind of helpless disbelief. The season of us watching over her and guiding her as a child living under our roof was really over. Just like that.
I attended a women’s retreat this weekend and had the opportunity to meet and connect with many wonderful women. Because my daughter’s story is so much a part of my own, I was called upon to share it several times over the weekend. I was reminded each time that she and her older brother are two of the most vivid testimonies of God’s grace in our lives.
My husband and I were in our early twenties and had been married barely a year when they joined our family. What did we know about raising kids? Not much. We knew that we loved them, we knew that God loved them, and we knew that He had placed them in our care. God took our love and our prayers and our efforts, however naive and flawed they may have been, and did something beautiful and amazing. Those kids have turned out to be real crackerjacks and we are just so honored that God allowed us to be a part of the process of growing them into the incredible adults they are today.
My point in saying all that is—we were never the only ones watching over that little girl. The same Heavenly Father who has been protecting, teaching, growing, and guiding her all along will continue to do those things. She is not under our roof anymore, but she is anything but on her own.
And so precious, beautiful girl—as you begin this season and this adventure—know my heart for you…
Numbers 6:24-26 (NASB)
24 The LORD bless you, and keep you; …
25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’
Colossians 1:9-12 (NASB)
9…we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
You bless me, Kiddo!