I had not allowed myself to really think about Samantha leaving home. I knew it would be hard and it would be an adjustment, but I also knew it was part of the growing up process and I was fairly certain I was prepared for it. Quite frankly, there had been many days over the past year when I was looking forward to the day she would get her own place. Not because I was anxious to have her out of the house, but because she seemed unhappy living at home and I knew she wanted to spread her wings. I remembered being her age and wanting the same thing. Even though I loved my parents and got along with them very well, I couldn't wait to be out on my own. I knew Sam was feeling that same itch and the only way it would get scratched was to leave.
As the weeks leading up to her move began to shorten I could feel myself kicking and screaming within. Sam and Josh are both graduated, Sam is getting ready to move, Josh will be joining the Marines and Jordan is starting high school. How did we get here, God? Is there any way I can have a re-do? I think I can do better. I can be a better parent. I will spend all of my time with them and not take any of it for granted. If only I had known time would go this fast I wouldn't have wasted so much of it. Please God....please......
While our God is a God of 2nd chances, there would not be the one I had requested; Monday came and my little girl went. As I drove alone with her stuff in the back of my car the realization swept over me--our relationship would never be the same again. It might be stronger, it might be weaker, but it would never be the same.
Jo and I stayed with her and helped her unpack and then we just sat and talked for a bit. The truth was--I didn't want to leave. Finally, I knew it was time to go and told Sam that we needed to leave. She responded by saying "You're just going to leave me here?" and I smiled and said "Well, yes. This is your new home." She sighed a bit and I could tell it was just as hard on her as it was on me. We walked outside and stalled with a little small talk--then I gave her a hug and the tears began to fill my eyes. As we pulled away I could see that she was crying as well and it took everything I had to drive away.
Shortly after I got home Sam sent me a text that said "I miss you already!" I knew how she felt. As I looked around the house there were reminders of her everywhere. While she hadn't lived in this house all of her life, she spent the majority of it here. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite pictures of her was taken when my parents bought this house and Sam came with them. She was about 3 years old. Since that time these walls have seen her celebrate approximately 14 birthdays, have several sleepovers, accept Christ, prepare for 2 proms, nurse her heart when it's been broken, graduate from high school, and grow into a beautiful young woman.
I miss her. But, I know she is where she is supposed to be. I am proud of her beyond words and cannot wait to see what God does in her life. She is only 20 minutes away and will be home every Saturday, but to my heart--it may as well be around the world. Of course, God likes to keep things in perspective for me.
After dropping Sam off a friend of mine, Sue, sent me a text wondering why we don't have Bible study on Friday. I told her it was Sammie's birthday party and when she responded she misspelled Sammie's name. So, I poked fun at her by sending the same misspelled name back. Sue apologized and said she had been in kind of a fog lately. She said she had Skyped with her daughter that morning and that she was really missing her--her daughter is working in a Christian school in Indonesia for 2 years.
I was immediately reminded of how fortunate I am and told Sue that I could not imagine what she was going through since I was shedding tears just leaving Sam 20 minutes away. I expected her to say "Yep! Be fortunate that your daughter is here and not around the world! At least you get to still see her!" But she didn't. Instead, she showed grace and compassion and sent me these wise words....
"But when they don't come home at night, doesn't matter how far they are."
So true my friend!
Lord, thank You for my beautiful Samantha. I love her more than words can express. Please watch over her and comfort her as I know this is harder on her than it is me. Also, thank You for keeping things in perspective. I am thankful that Sam is not far from home right now. I just don't think I could handle that...yet. Neither could she. Of course, You already knew that, didn't you?! You really are so good, Lord. I also thank You for the friends You have place in my life. You always know which one to use at just the right time. I pray that someday I would be a blessing to them as they are to me. I love You, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.....