Both my girls leave for college in the Fall. No, I am not the mother of twins, but have almost always had two girls. It’s the truth, but the reality recently sunk in. Let me go back a bit.
A dear friend and mother to our children’s BFFs suddenly died last year. What kind of woman and mother was she? One who raised a girl who without hesitation gave up PB&J sandwiches rather than sit a table away from her new best friend with the peanut allergy. 10 years later and they’ve never looked back. None of us did. Our sons were the same age and became best dudes. With husbands whose world views and perspectives were mostly interchangeable, our lives mirrored each other’s even before we met. Ours were matches made in Heaven. I must remember to Trust the God that Always Knows.
With my girlfriend gone, I did what was natural; loved and nurtured my Little Miss Pumpkin deeply, same as always. Despite so much change, our rhythm changed not at all. She was, and is, my girl.
My friend, her mom, would have LOVED senior year. She loved so many things. Among the many lessons she taught me was to inhabit the everyday miracles. I’ve embraced those lessons with more intent, absent her example at my side. To be present and available for my girls without overstepping, not hovering, encouraging, challenging, pushing forward while letting go. You would think having two girls would make letting both of them go more bittersweet…but I must remember to Trust the God that Always Knows.
I marvel at the ways of God. A recent sermon encouraged us to “Stay Open,” meaning that a)God is always speaking (are you listening?), b)Miracles occur daily; so instead of remaining mired in the hard things, we are charged through all things to “Count it all joy.” James 1:2 (KJV)
I do not write of experience I do not know. I routinely survive assaults against my Peace knowing that none of those victories would be possible without Grace. Lord, I am learning. I say to myself daily, “Trust the God that Always Knows.”
You would think letting two girls go would be twice as hard as saying farewell and Godspeed to one, but the story becomes even more wonderful in the telling; God was just getting started. I’ve learned that we are never supposed to manage things on our own, to have our plans proceed without flaw. Looking back over those times in my life, I am deeply grateful. Had Life proceeded according to my plans, I’d have thought I did it on my own. You see, not only is His Grace sufficient, His power is perfected in our weakness. And, with that understanding, I celebrate my human frailty, my foolish anger and fear, and all the times I intended to, but never quite got it right. Trust the God that Always Knows.
When the girls made college selections, it looked as though they would be about 4 hours apart; we all thought we had everything covered. They planned to spend occasional weekends together at one campus or another, and were convinced the schools that each selected were right campuses and communities both for learning and socializing. But God. Within 4 days of two college visits our best plans lay at the broken altar of human frailty. My girls will be across town from one another at two of the top-rated Universities in the Northeast, with world-renowned programs in each of their chosen majors. Had Life proceeded according to our plans, we would have missed the opportunity to see God show Himself Mighty in meeting all our needs, exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, including having the ability for each of them to get across town for meals, fun, and moral support. Did I mention they’re less than two hours away by home by car, and each can afford to take the train home any weekend for hugs, shopping, and mama’s hugs.
While so much as changed, the love I’ve always shown my girls and our relationships have changed very little. We used to be a foursome, or more often 2 girls and a mom tagging along. So what I go to the mall a little more often; I’ve learned to love the laughter and the honor of being included. I also get to hang out at movies, giggle over Starbucks, and thank God for those everyday miracles I’m seeing more intently.
On the 4th of July three years ago, my girlfriend spoke words I now hear her say to my heart continually. They help make sense of all the wonderful things that have happened, even through occasional tears. On that holiday 3 years ago, our families ended another good day together with a great night. We’d done the town parade, eaten ice cream in the park, and traded plates and time in the hammocks at our backyard barbeque. Time with the eight of us together always meant no burden of having to entertain. We hang like family. In a quiet moment before the fireworks began, I captured a breathtaking sunset with my camera. As I shared the image with my friend, she smiled and said, simply, quietly, “Good job, God.” That’s what she said about a remarkable moment in time, and that’s what I say about her.
So, I’m sending both my girls away to start their college lives very soon; one in August, one is September. More grateful than words can say, they will be close enough to see each other, laugh with and at one another, celebrate all that’s marvelous and be available for hugs when things get rough. That is how it was always supposed to be. God knew all the moments we’d live through to get here, so, I should Trust Him. I should trust that His Plans are better. I should Trust The God That Always Knows. And finally, when I step back to see the Divine Elegance of His Plan, I use her words, so fitting… #GoodJobGod