Four years ago my wife and I dropped our daughter off at a college over 1,000 miles away from our home. Before leaving we helped her get situated into her dorm room, which included numerous trips to Walmart. We gave her more hugs than we could count, and then we drove away.
For her, it was the beginning of an exciting four year adventure, which culminates TODAY as she graduates with a degree in education. She has met many new friends. She has taken mission trips over spring break to Ecuador, Honduras, and Greece. She met the young man that will become her husband in a few weeks. She has learned, studied and slowly transformed into a wonderful young woman, whom we are very proud of.
For my wife and I, it was the beginning of a long, and sometimes painful process, of letting our angel go. We started crying as drove away from the college four years ago, and honestly, cried for the next 500 miles. When we returned to our home in Vermont, there was an empty place in our lives that our sweet girl used to fill each and every day. As the years went by, we adjusted to that empty place, but we have never really grown to like it.
Today she will graduate from college. I have the honor of taking part in the commencement exercises by giving the benediction prayer. Later this month she will be married. I have the honor of leading a portion of the ceremony, along with the groom's father, who is also a pastor. Next month she and her new husband will move all the way across the country for him to attend graduate school in preparation for missionary service. I know it is a great school, as I graduated from there as well. I know she is going to have a good life, but it still hurts to let go. But we entrust her into the arms of Christ and we know she is safe there.
If you have little children in your home, enjoy each and every moment. If you have teens in your home, love them even when they drive you crazy. If you have college students in your family, I pray you will learn to live with the empty place in your life, but I regret to say that it will not be easy. But if we teach them to love the Lord and to love other people, then we have taught them well. Now, as painful as it is, we must let them soar with wings of eagles to all the places the Lord will take them.