As a Parent
As a parent, it is very difficult to let my daughter go off to college.
Frankly, it feels like my heart is being ripped out, much like the first time my heart was broken by a girlfriend when she left me. It’s a painful feeling of loss, something that can never be cured, fixed, or done over.
Katie is my firstborn daughter. I was there at her birth…changed one of her first diapers…rushed her to the hospital when she was sick…threw a dog (Spot) across a room when he bit her…cried when she got injections…rejoiced when she accepted Christ…cheered her teams to victory and protested in defeat…cried again when I had to discipline her…listened with amazement at the first song she wrote…felt like a rock star when I played with her on stage…felt like an un-spiritual pagan when she spoke of her walk with God…bristled with anger when she got a boyfriend…and said, “That’s my girl” when she intimidated her own youth director at church.
Now, she’s grown up. There’s no more time. She’s leaving. My heart is breaking like never before. The pain is real.
As a Christian Parent
I once posted a comment on Facebook about my feelings. But the things people kept telling me had the same general theme: “She will be fine.”
Let me set the record straight. I KNOW she will be fine. I KNOW she will be OK. You don’t have to tell me that someone will be there at college to look after her, because I know darn well she can take care of herself! I am not worried in the least about her safety, her relationships, what she may or may not get into, or anything like that. She WILL be fine because she is prepared and God is with her. I am not going to worry. My problem is simply the fact that she is leaving.
But you know, that’s what children are supposed to do, right? They are supposed to leave, to get out of the nest, etc. What kind of parents would her mother and I be if we never prepared her to be a God-fearing adult? She was an arrow in my quiver, and now’s the time to let her fly.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. – Psalms 127:4-5 NKJV
As an Archer
Fellow parents, let me tell you exactly why I am not worried about my daughter, Katie. First, when she was just a baby, I dedicated her to the Lord. I covenanted with my wife to raise her in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” To the best of our ability, we have done just that.
Secondly, we have done with her as a warrior does with his arrows. We kept her safe and protected, just as the arrow is protected in the quiver. Just as the warrior makes sure the flights on his arrow are straight, we made sure she learned the Truth (John 14:6) so that she could navigate through the winds of life toward her specific target. Like the shaft of the arrow, we trained and molded her character. And like the all-important arrowhead, we made sure Katie was as sharp as possible, as effective as could be, to make her mark on whatever target was propped in front of her.
No, I am not worried; I am painfully proud. I have prepared a weapon for God’s glory, one that is now leaving the bow in flight toward her God-given goal. I have done all I can do, including aim her in the right direction. Now that she is on her way, I have complete confidence she will stay on course.
Train up a child in the way [she] should go: and when [she] is old, [she] will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Confront the “enemies in the gate,” Katie! Victory is yours!