I have circled my computer for days.
Blank stare and trying to get up the courage to write what doesn't seem possible to put into words.
I have bottled up the emotions and pushed them down
as far as they will go.
But yesterday..... I was forced...... to let them run free.
It is to date the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.
As I held my oldest child in my arms and swallowed down the tears threatening to overwhelm me, I whispered words of encouragement and love in her ear.
She held on tighter and I tried not to cling too much.
And then it came..... the moment to step away.... and watch her ascend the stairs and take her first steps to independence. From me.... from her dad.... from all that is familiar, and from all that she knows and loves.
I stayed composed as she shot us a beaming smile and sent us an excited wave.
I waved back. And gave her my best "I am so proud of you" smile. I was so proud of myself and my complete composure.
I tried not to think about the months that will separate us. And I tried not to dwell on how long it will be until I get to hug her again.
I couldn't. I wouldn't...... not right then anyway.
As my husband, and my youngest children and I climbed back into the car I started to thaw.
The feelings and emotions that I had forcefully held at bay for the last few days began to win the battle over my will.
I began to feel them creeping up. Clogging my throat. I could feel them begin to gain momentum.
As I sat in the car on the drive home I let my eyes drift shut.
Flashes of her in the different stages of her life began to play across my memory.
As a baby. Placed in my arms for the very first time.
Her first smile. The same smile that lights up any room she's in and reminds you of what really matters.
Her pre-school teacher telling her dad and I that she was born to lead. She led her entire pre-school class in imaginary play every day.
Her independence from her peers. In almost every stage of her life.
Never caring what others think if it goes against what she knows to be right and true, having to line it up with the word of God. And although she knows that it will hurt, she has chosen to stand alone..... more than once.
Her love and mercy for the hurting, the outcast, and the broken in spirit.
These things have been evident in her since she was barely even able to form her words in complete sentences.
Every phase...... and favorite memories. One after the other in rapid succession. Every moment leading up to this very day.
And as I walked down the hall toward her room, I could feel my carefully rehearsed self control begin to slip..... and come crashing down.
I can't remember when the tears began.
I just know that all of sudden they were there. And they were coming in earnest.
The hurt and the ache started out slow and quickly escalated into a mind numbing and searing pain.
The sobs that seemed to come from someone else shook my entire body with their force.
I didn't know it would feel this way.
No one prepared me for this! This intense pain and feeling of separation.
I knew I would miss her......
I knew that her going away would create a chasm in our lives that has always been tightly woven and knit together.
But I didn't know that the pain would be so deep and the hole so large.
Un-fillable by anything I try to fill it up with trying to forget why I am feeling this way.
I have tried not to let on. To allow her to have her joy and focus on what is sure to be the one of the greatest adventures of her life.
But I let it slip today.......
My carefully placed mask of control that I had been feebly holding up.
All it took was telling her I love her......
I had to cover my mouth to cover the sob that was choking me.
I saw her face crumble on my screen and called myself every kind of fool.
And then I got it.....
The truth is..... I do miss her. And she needed to know that.
I am happy for her.... but so sad for me.
I have lived my whole life in deference to others. Often denying myself the privilege of letting myself feel and being okay with it without beating myself up.
She knows this about me. She often has to remind me that my way of dealing with myself is not okay.
And I am hoping that in allowing her to know that she is this loved and this missed will hopefully motivate and move her forward.
To attempt the challenges that are set before her knowing that she is deeply cared for and fully supported by those who know her best and love her even more.
To believe in herself and the ability that God has given and equipped her with because we believe in her and see all that God has placed in her to share.
I know that this will be a process. For me. For her. For us both.
She continues to challenge me with her wisdom and strength.
Pushing me to push forward.
To attempt this challenge of one of the ultimate tests of my faith.
To believe in myself and the ability God has given me to live out His purposes for my own life as she is doing in hers.
Not allowing the missing and hurting to hinder that and get in the way. For either of us.
I am still smarting from the tear and rip of my heart.
I am still trying to force myself to deal with the the absence that following her calling has created.
And I have realized that letting go of anything we hold close is a day to day process.
But I am also learning that this letting go does not mean giving up.
It is more of a releasing..... and surrendering.
Believing that what God has done so far will pale in comparison with what He has in store for us all.
I have been holding on to this with all my might.
And while I stand here trying to make sense of it all I can feel myself once again......
Take a deep breath...... and let go.
Falling into the same hands that hold my daughter tight.
Taking comfort in the fact that we are both being held close to His heart with the most tenderest of care.
And Lord willing.... when we finally get to travel to where she is.... I already plan to be the first off the plain..... running headlong to wrap my mom arms around her and hold her face with those same hands that are holding her up every night before our God.
.... until another tomorrow.
"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go." Joshua 1:7
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."