How do we say good-bye to our college kids?
Although there are many ways, a powerful mantra keeps rolling around my head as I prepare to launch my baby next week. A mantra my mentor taught me when I was learning to disciple others. It’s advice that’s helpful in walking alongside a sister-in-Christ, but also in the long, painful, and depressing walk to freshman orientation.
Although it’s a simple, obvious thought, it’s one that takes much pause, prayer, and pondering prior to executing. It’s a wholly beautiful and beneficial sentiment for the recipient, but for giver and implementer, it’s complex, self-sacrificial, and usually the opposite of what we want to think/say/do.
How do we say good-bye? What thought should filter every reminder, piece of advice, and hug we give them? Although I don’t always remember it, something that’s been helping me “good-bye” is asking myself,
“What does Faithe need from me right now?”
This non-rocket-science-y question is so easy, yet so difficult. It forces me to bypass my own questions, pain, and anxiety. In love, it requires me to think only about Faithe. It demands reliance on the Lord to show me what she needs because often times,
I don’t know.
In the last few months and days, God’s helped me see that Faithe needs to know I’ll be okay without her. He’s helped me realize she resists my help not because I annoy her (usually), but because SHE needs to know she can do things without me (even though I already know that). Asking what Faithe needs is helping me avoid making her departure about me. And it’s helping me say good-bye with fewer tears and less lament because,
That isn’t what she needs right now.
How do we say good-bye to our children? By prayerfully giving them what THEY need and in turn trusting Christ will give us exactly what we need,
When it’s time to say good-bye.