Catie has just begun her senior year of college. The time, predictably, has been full, yet so swift. I think about the process we went through to get her there. The discovery of a school we had never heard of, and the dream to study something she loved, but had not been trained for, music. It was a God thing. Catie was guided there, almost against her will.
“I do not want to go to a Christian school. Too homogenous. Not diverse enough.” She stated emphatically.
Yet we visited Eastern University (I really don’t know why … I felt drawn), a school committed to faith, reason and justice, and she liked it. Tess, her best friend and cousin, joined us and liked it too. Then they had an Experience Eastern weekend, which we somehow arranged at the absolute last minute. They had a blast staying on campus and partaking in all sorts of fun, get-to-know Eastern activities. And then Catie was accepted into the Music program with a scholarship. Well, that sealed the deal.
I had asked God to guide Catie to the right place for her. He outdid Himself. Really. There were signs and wonders every step of the way, like the creepy black birds cawing in the gray stick branches of trees that lined the walk up to one of the universities we visited. This set an ominous tone and a chill down our spines neither of us could shake. That school was quickly checked off the list as a definite “NO!”
Life over the course of these three years has not been perfect, but I believe the choice for Catie has been pretty close.
There have been incredible joys: friendships I suspect will last forever; adventures that have grown and stretched Catie (some of which I don’t want to hear about); accomplishments in and exposure to music and academics; learning that has broadened her intellect and critical thinking; faith that has been tested and refined. I am so thankful.
But there has also been difficulty: the reality of balancing a rigorous and challenging workload, the trials of fragile relationships that snap. There has even been some devastation: a badly broken heart that tore Catie apart; and a fierce, battle against Lyme disease, that wreaked havoc, weakening her young body and stealing clarity from her mind. Thank God, this was a struggle Catie eventually won.
There were many tearful calls home asking for prayer. Though there were times I felt helpless and out of touch, prayer is the one thing I could always offer. And there were hundreds of prayers lifted up with my Moms In Touch praying sisters, who helped carry burdens and celebrate triumphs. The way has not always been easy, but it has been laced with powerful, believing, fervent prayer.
In just a few months, which I know will whoosh by, Catie will leave the cocoon of college and fly out into the big, bad, wonderful, dangerous world. I will have to let go a little more; not my specialty, but it is my role to do all I can to prepare her for this leaving. I find peace, knowing that as long as I’m living, through prayer, I will accompany Catie wherever she goes.
How about you? As this Fall begins, are you releasing any of your kids into the next stage of life? Preschool? Kindergarten? Middle school? High school? Maybe college, a career, or a new home? What gives you peace in the letting go?
(Reprinted with permission from Elise Daly Parker's blog.)