I learned a lot about motherhood in August.
I learned that 18 years of parenting isn’t enough time to prepare your heart for that moment when you pull away from your driveway to take your child to college, knowing that you’ll be returning with an empty minivan.
We drove from California to Texas, so we left very early in the morning, which seemed only practical. But it also meant we drove straight into a sunrise at the start of our trip. I couldn’t help but smile at the tender message God painted across our morning sky.
Sunrises always symbolize new beginnings.
So instead of seeing this trip as some sort of finale, I chose to see it as a journey toward a new beginning and the start of new dreams.
Along the way, we listened to a variety of music, and I learned that an 18-year-old and a 40-year-old can find a surprising number of songs that both enjoy listening to. I discovered that I really like a band called Imagine Dragons. I don’t understand their name, but I think their songs are groovy. I also learned that words like groovy can make a comeback the same way fluorescent colors can.
Believe it or not, I actually learned how to use cruise control too. Because you need a long stretch of road without traffic for cruise control to make sense, and in Los Angeles County, there’s never a long stretch of road without traffic.
More than anything, though, I learned that God had special moments ordained for us all along the way.
After twelve or thirteen hours in the car, my daughter flipped through my old CDs. She found one by Point of Grace and popped it into the CD player. It’s been years since the last time I listened to it. And the second track caught us both by surprise.
The words were just for us . . .
Along life’s road there will be sunshine and rain
Roses and thorns, laughter and pain
Across the miles, you will face mountains so steep
Deserts so long and valleys so deep
Sometimes the journey’s gentle
Sometimes the cold winds blow
But I want you to remember
I want you to know
You will never walk alone
As long as you have faith
Jesus will be right beside you all the way
And you may feel you’re far from home
But home is where He is
And He’ll be there down every road
You will never walk alone
No matter how far we travel. No matter how far away from home we may be. We are never alone. Jesus is always with us.
I think mom and daughter both needed to be reminded of that.
When we walk with Jesus, we never walk alone. < Tweet that! >
Our long drive to Texas was really just the beginning of ten whole days together. We first went to Dallas to attend the amazing Declare Conference (which I’ll write more about soon). Then we drove to her new college town. We explored the campus and shared meals and shopped for school supplies.
And when it came time to move into her dorm, I learned that it takes a few hours to move in, but it takes even longer to say goodbye.
I also learned . . .
The heartache of goodbye is softened with the heart-filled joy of thanks. < Tweet that! >
So I’m continuing to count these amazing gifts.
Counting #1000Gifts When Mother Takes Daughter to College:
~ Friends praying for safe travels
~ Answered prayers
~ A sunrise to greet us
~ Chai tea lattes
~ Drive-thru Starbuck’s
~ Enjoying music together
~ Discovering new bands and songs
~ Long conversations
~ No car trouble at all
~ Finding the perfect theme for her dorm
~ Face Time with Dad and siblings back home
~ New books
~ A great dorm-mate
~ An amazing RA (Resident Advisor)
What do you remember about
the first time you moved away from home?
Song by Lowell Alexander and recorded by Point of Grace.