“Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
One of my children is now graduated and moving out of state. As you can imagine, it is a time of mixed emotions for everyone. I’m very proud of her. She is a strong, independent woman who is able to survive on her own. I’m confident she will be able to make it just fine. In fact, I’m reminded of the theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Here’s a little trip down memory lane for many of you: https://youtu.be/RYgKcUDZ-E0
I’ll be honest with you, she’s far more ready to go where she’s going than I was when I left home and moved out of state the first time. Granted, the situation was far different. The country then was in deep economic trouble, especially northern Minnesota. It forced me to move. Even so, I wouldn’t let my daughter leave as unprepared as I was. Mentally, I was fine – young and stupid, but not dumb. I simply didn’t have the money I needed. It was rough.
She’s prepared that way and has the ability to earn a living while she seeks employment that she went to college for. She’s moving in with girlfriends she knows well. Even though she will be a long way from me, I’ll probably see her almost as much as I did her last two years of college. So, that’s not so bad. Even so, it’s not as if she’s moving into a new apartment 50 miles away.
We’ve been talking about other adult things lately, stuff she’ll need to do once she gets there. Things like getting new license plates and driver’s license. Getting new car and renter’s insurance. How a credit score works. When to start looking for a new car. Long-distance romance. Stuff like that.
Has she incorporated all of the lessons I have taught her over the years? Yes and no. That’s both good and bad. Some of my examples were best not followed, if you know what I mean. Others, she follows very well. We don’t see eye-to-eye with regards to some things, but we do respect each other and can live in peace with differences. That’s something I am grateful for.
Looking back on my own life, I didn’t follow all the good examples that were shown to me. My mother was a believer, yet I deliberately chose not to follow her in that. It was 26 years before all that changed. My daughter knows the gospel. As of today, she is choosing another path. This is probably the life lesson I most wish she would follow, but I realize it is also the one that is most up to her to decide. That’s between her and God.
In a way, my job as a teacher is over, but it really isn’t. Yes, my daughter is prepared so that she can move to another state on her own. Some of the necessary lessons were ones she learned from me. Others, she learned from other people. Yet, when I look at my own life, I realize that I’m still not really prepared for life. I still am learning. I’m still learning from lessons I was taught long ago. So, will she.
My hope is that one day, soon, she will come to know and trust in God. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the (one) who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8). Truthfully, as only someone in my position knows, I love her no matter what. I don’t love her less because she is walking another path, nor will I love her more if she starts believing in Jesus. I simply want what is best for her, and I have come to know, understand, and believe that Jesus truly is the way, the truth, and the life. All the other advice I have about life, while valuable, is secondary to the treasure I now know in Jesus.
In the meantime, until that day she can claim this as her own, I shall pray this promise for her:
Psalm 91:9-10 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place – the Most High, who is my refuge – no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
That’s God’s promise to me. My daughter is still part of my tent, so I am laying claim for this promise over her and the rest of my children. I pray to God for her protection and trust that he hears my prayer. Will life be easy for her? No, sometimes it will be very difficult, as it will be for me. This promise is on a whole different level.
Father, my daughter truly is in your hands. Protect her. Guide her. Show her your love. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers