Feelings I have about Kami leaving for college...

Feelings I have about Kami leaving for college:

-       Honestly (and I’ve been trying to mask this, I think, to protect my heart from hurt) I feel quite sad.  I wanted to say that my first emotion is excitement, but it’s not.  I know it’s going to leave a void in my heart and our family.  My heart aches at the thought today.
-       I feel like time has done just what I thought it would, slip through my fingers like ocean sand.  People tell you it will go fast and is that ever true.  It’s hard to wrap my mind around how 18 years just happened.
-       I’m not filled with piles of regret.  I hear that familiar story from many parents who wish they could turn back time and do everything different.  Though I wish to experience things again, there isn’t much I would do different.  I feel so good about how much we’ve been able to do together and how much time we’ve spent together.
-       I’m excited for her to spread her wings and fly.  I feel there is so much more potential in her than we’ve even scratched the surface in seeing.  I feel the new environment will make her feel a new freedom and independence to explore God’s unique purpose for her life and to experiment with those gifts deposited in her heart.
-       I find myself wondering if there is anything that has happened to her that she hasn’t shared with us.  I know, weird.  But I would hate for her to hide a part of her life either because she’s embarrassed, ashamed, or simply doesn’t want to bother us or weigh us down.  It’s a parent’s nightmare to realize too late that events have occurred that now have irreversible consequences.  It’s my protective side, I guess.
-       I wonder what it will be like to come home and for bedtime to roll around and her not be there, for her bedroom to be empty and dark as I walk by it after kissing the kids goodnight.  It makes me emotional to even think about now walking by her vacant room after years of our lives being filled with her presence.
-       I can’t stop praying for good friendships to form at college that encourage her to be all that God made her to be.  People she can be herself with, open up with, cry with, laugh with, and grow with.  I know my college friends were so critical to who I became as I headed into my twenties.  There isn’t a more urgent prayer of mine for her as she leaves.
-       I wonder how this will affect Aly and Tay as they take on new roles to fill gaps that Kami’s absence will leave behind.  I wonder if they aren’t aware how Kami’s presence stabilized them and secured them.  I know it will be hard for them to reorient at first since they are so used to being a threesome and handling life together.  The way they all laugh together sitting on a bed at night will be missed.
-       Similarly, I wonder about Heidi and what emotions and thoughts are pestering her as Kami leaves.  It’s hard to know what life will look like with this new normal, but I know Heidi takes her role as a mom so seriously and her care and love for Kami is beyond what Kami is capable of comprehending at this point.  I know there will be a unique mother-ache as we drop her off and leave her behind.  I pray God holds her heart together as the enemy attacks her from all sides with debilitating thoughts.
-       I’m used to wrapping my arms around her and feeling the knowledge that she’s safe under our care and under our roof.  I know I will wonder if she is safe ‘out there’ and if anything is “getting to her” or “hurting her”.  It’s just hard to think about not being able to look in her eyes to see if she’s alive or aloof, and to have that hug that makes me feel like my little girl is ok.  I might need the hug more than her at this point, I don’t know.
-       In a world with so many ideas on life and God and humanity, I find my heart praying for her to own her own beliefs in God.  To continue to move from this thing being “what my parents believe” to “what I believe”.  I’m excited to see her grow in her personal relationship with God apart from us…to wrestle with God about her doubts and dreams.  God doesn’t have any grandchildren, only children.
-       I think this is normal, but my mind just races with memories of her as a little girl.  I want to go back so bad.  I want to re-experience those moments, to reverse time so that I can relive her childhood again.  I suppose with time, certain memories begin to fade at the edges and I wish I could go back and pick her up and swing her around and hear her laugh and throw her on the bed and tickle her to hear that 4 year old giggle again.  I remember it, but it’s a hazy recollection.  Oh, to be able to go back.
-       I wonder about the guys she will meet and be interested in.  If it’s God’s will, I want her to find a good man who loves her with all his heart.  I know the hurt that can come with rejection and I don’t want her heart to become callused.  My prayer is that God will orchestrate that part of her life that can be such a mystery and a mess all at the same time.  No matter what, I hope she will know she is loved by God and that her identity won’t be in a guy, but in God.  The unknowns of this aspect of her future fill my mind.
-       I think a lot about her studies and the workload that will ensue in the comings weeks as she crashes into college.  I pray that a work ethic will emerge where she applies herself and sees how much untapped potential she possesses.  I don’t want her to get buried under books and tests and papers…I want her to learn and to love what she is learning.  More than anything, I want her to have a great balance of study, sleep, friends, fun, and learning.
-       I pray for all selfishness to be burned away by God’s Spirit…for her heart to become more tender toward others and more self-sacrificing with every month that goes by.  We live in such a selfish and self-consumed world, I pray for her to not swallowed up in that lifestyle, but to somehow stand out.  She was made to stand out, not fit in.  I want her to have a heart for God and people so badly.
-       It’s probably normal, but I wonder how I have hurt her along the way or at the very least held her back because of who I’ve been or what I’ve done.  I don’t know how I have, but I’m sure there are areas where I have missed the mark and I pray that I will be able to reconcile that with her in the coming years as those areas surface and that God will fill all the gaps that I’ve left as a human father with flaws and failures.  I long for God’s forgiveness and grace to cover all my human mistakes.
-       I wonder how the boys will handle this shift in our home.  I wonder what it will be like for them to see Kami and for her to see them with massive gaps of time in between.  They will be growing up and she won’t be there to see it…and I just hope she will always feel close to them as their sister and that they will feel close to her as her brothers.  I don’t want the distance to cause distance in their relationship as they are young and won’t remember much of life before age 7 as they go forward.  I pray for a special bond to remain in spite of the span between them.
-       This is crazy, but I know it’s time for her to go.  A year ago I could never imagine myself saying that, but I know it’s best for her and that it’s a natural part of growing up.  I really feel it would be worse for her to stay and that her heart would begin to die if she didn’t launch out on her own and make her own decisions and live with the outcomes of those decisions, both good and bad.  I’m so happy for her to have this opportunity.
-       Lastly, I will miss her dearly.  There is no way for me to deny this.  I will feel the pain of here absence, there’s no getting around that.  I love and have loved her with all my heart, that will never change.  Time will certainly lessen the weight of this feeling, but initially, it’s going to be brutal.  I’m ok with that and I’m glad that I feel this way cause it shows that our relationship is special to me.  I’m not just her father, I’m her friend and I will miss my friend, my daughter.

Well, that was excruciating to pen.  But I had to do it.


Unknown said…
I couldn't help thinking back to our own college experiences as I read this post ... wondering what our parents were thinking and feeling and remembering what an incredible season it was to explore, learn, grow, struggle and encounter Jesus together. I pray that Kami's experience is much the same. I found myself wanting to hug all my kids a little tighter tonight after reading your post. Love you brother, Rack

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