This past week, we said goodbye to my sweet girl, Lauren, as she began her third year at University of Georgia. It was hard, but not as hard as that first year!
Below is the post I wrote three years ago when we said our goodbyes to Lauren. The Lord led me to share this message again to encourage you, whether you are saying goodbye for the first time, the second time, the last time, that you are not alone! Saying goodbye to our “babies” breaks our hearts in two. Beginning a new normal hurts so much. But it’s all part of God’s good and perfect plan…a plan we can trust…a plan that is His highest and best for us and, most especially, for our children.
Please know I am praying for all of you saying your goodbyes and beginning your new normal.
Stop by next Monday and I will share a prayer I have written that you can pray over your son or daughter as he or she heads off on her own.
No one ever prepares you for the hurt that accompanies sending your baby off to college. Moms share their experiences. They give advice. They pray. They send Scripture. But when the moment arrives…nothing prepares you.
As we stood in the darkness of the parking lot outside Lauren’s dorm, I felt as if I could not breathe. Waves of grief overcame me. She hugged her Daddy. Next she hugged her brother. I stood, waiting for my turn, tears streaming down my cheeks. Finally she came to me. I held her for what seemed forever as we both wept…no words just tears. Finally, we spoke our last goodbyes. I watched her walk up the stairs to her new home. Everything in me wanted to run after her. I wanted to turn back time and take her home…just one more year with me. But I knew that was not possible.
It was time…time for her to journey into the next phase of God’s plan for her life…a plan I know is perfect…a plan I know is one planned by God since before time began…a plan to prosper and not to harm her…a plan to give her Hope and a future.
But knowing those truths does not make saying goodbye hurt any less. As we drove home, the ache in my heart grew.
Walking into the house brought waves of tears. It hurts so much. How do I walk this walk? How do I live each day knowing her bright, smiling face won’t be walking through the door every afternoon. How do I serve dinner every night with one less place setting? How do I go to Target knowing she isn’t with me to stop at Chick-fil-A to get our sweet tea? How do I watch “Bewitched” without her at 4:30 every afternoon? She is everywhere!!!
How will I walk this walk? The only way I know how…one step at a time…with my Lord guiding each and every step and with you, my sweet friends, whose prayers and words of encouragement have held me up. It is such a lonely feeling, yet you have helped me know I am not alone.
My friend Marlo Huffington wrote these beautiful words:
Let the sweet waves of loss wash over you for they will eventually give way to joy!
So, I will wait patiently for the Joy that always comes in the morning.
Until then, I rejoice for Lauren. Her first two days were so hard. But now she is enjoying Rush and making new friends. Nights are still a bit lonely as she misses “home.” But I told her soon UGA would be her new “home,” her “home away from home,” and it would feel good to be there.
So many friends I know are taking their kids to college this week and next. Please know I am praying for you!!!
If you are one of these moms, or if you have a Scripture or word of encouragement for one of these moms, please leave a comment today.