My Own Adventure

The launch was amazing. The speakers were so down to earth and real. It was not a show, just genuine people leading these young people to change the world, while being changed themselves. It was comforting to see. The fellowship with other parents was a healing balm. Knowing I am not in this alone was a boost in my own confidence that I can do this. To hear another parent speak about how the race changed her own life with the Lord, was inspiring and I felt an immediate confirmation that God will do new things with me. I have no idea what exactly, but I feel that in launching Hannah, I am also launching myself into a new phase. My spirit was stirred by the time together and I left with fewer tears than I had anticipated and more expectancy to watch what God will do with her…but also with me.
When we arrived home the first thing to greet me was her car, which triggered the tears. Just when I was thinking that finally I had managed a goodbye without falling apart, I came unglued. At least it was AFTER the goodbye and not in the middle of it. Somehow seeing something inanimate that is so connected to her just made me feel a bit lost. I thought of parents who have lost a child and I wondered how in the world they handle that huge hole in their lives. I mean, at least I know this is only for a year. My compassion for parents who have lost children just grew exponentially, right there in my driveway.
These thoughts led me to the realization that what I am feeling is grief. It is mixed in with the excitement and the anticipation. The dichotomy of the conflicting emotions is exhausting. I must say I am more up than down, and that is progress from previous times I have had to let my children go. This time there is peace that is restful, even as my anxious heart beats faster. As I was having my moment in the driveway, God whispered to my heart, “You are not grieving Hannah’s leaving. You are grieving the loss of your role as a mom.” Though it surprised me, I see the truth in that statement.
My role as mom has been the job of my dreams. When I was in kindergarten and they asked me what I wanted to be I simply said, “A mom.” It was true then and it is still true. I love being a mother, and I realize that I am not giving that up exactly, but that it is changing considerably. I am more of a consultant now, and that only happens on their terms not mine. I don’t get input into every situation anymore. I have to let them be, while I sit back and watch. It is so very hard to do. I am finding it much harder than 3 a.m. feedings and diaper changes.
The pulling away of my kids feels like a loss…a huge one. There is a hole where I used to fit and I knew my place so well. Now, I am a bit lost and wandering, trying to find my way to a new place of comfort. I have 4 children and that will not change, but now they are moving into their adult lives and that leaves me asking God, “What about me? Is there something more for me?” Yesterday in my driveway I felt him say, “Yes. There is more for you. I am not finished with you yet. Wait on me. Look for it, because there is more.” So in this new, and very uncomfortable place, I wait. I listen. I cry. I smile. I wander and wonder. It is the beginning of my very own adventure.

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