We Have Lift-Off!


It was a breathless week, but after some financial gymnastics by the very helpful financial aid office at her university, we were awarded enough assistance and student loan opportunities for my sweet girl to begin her pursuit of higher education. God didn’t answer our prayers in quite the way we were hoping and expecting, but He did answer, as He always does.

You would think that after so many answered prayers, after so many provisions for needs of which we were not even yet aware, we would be immune to anxiety, but we’re not. We’re learning though—slowly, but we’re learning. I’m learning.

I’m learning that God loves my daughter more than I do—so much more. I’m learning that He knows what she needs before she needs it and that He has already made provision. I’m learning to bring needs to Him as soon as they arise rather than running around trying to provide for them myself, bringing them to Him only when I’ve reached the end of my meager resources.

I’m also learning that my precious child has much to teach me about faith and what’s important. She is learning childlike faith by watching the loving care of her Father while I am an alarmist who constantly needs to be reminded that perfect love casts out fear.

So to Him who loves her most we take our myriad concerns. Will she get along with her roommate? Will she remember to take her medication? Will she be able to get up on time in the morning?  Will her eating disorder rear its ugly, relentless head with the stress of college life?  Silly worries taunt me, but they are needless.  She’s an intelligent young woman. She will make mistakes and then she will adjust to correct them, just like the rest of us did (and do), and her Father will be there to help her navigate the bumps and recover from the falls. I have to leave her in His hands because He is so much stronger, so much wiser, so much more capable than I am. But after the nearly catastrophic roads she has traveled in recent years and after the deep wounds she has sustained, I think I worry much more than I otherwise would.

The answers are not all clear yet, but I know that things are different now because she is trusting Jesus now. She wasn’t then. She has experienced so much healing, and though she still has wounds that hurt when touched, He who began the healing process will not abandon it. I know that her scars will be reminders of past brokenness, of where she doesn’t want to go again, and of how sweetly the Healer has mended her wounds.

And so I am asking Him over and over again to teach me, to give me wisdom, to help me know how to rightly parent this amazing, fragile, strong, smart, precious young adult without smothering her or making her doubt herself.  The biggest challenge most days is not letting my own doubt, fear, and weakness cause me to be a hindrance to her.  This feels like walking on a frozen pond—one tentative, prayerful step at a time—but we will listen carefully to our Guide, and we will get across it.

I am so excited for my girl, so hopeful and thankful. Every day is an adventure and a victory. She is held by a Mighty Hand, and she is going to be just fine.

Houston, We Have a Problem…

It’s midsummer, and for the first time, our family is in the midst of the deep inhale before the plunge, at about 3 in the countdown to launch our sweet Fairy Princess into the stratosphere of college life. She has chosen a Christian school twelve hours from home, so we have been bracing ourselves for months of separation, continually—but silently—asking ourselves if, after all she’s been through over the last few years, she’s ready to fly solo.

Then, two days ago, we finally completed the college cost planning worksheet to see exactly how much more cash she needed to ask God to provide. We thought this was mostly a formality, since we had a pretty good idea of what her remaining balance would be after financial aid—or not. The great disparity between the deficit we expected and the one we actually came up with was heart-rending. It was more than twice what she anticipated.

We don’t have that kind of money. Neither does she, even after working for a year after graduation. Also, our credit, while we’re working on it, is pretty stinky right now, so I don’t even know if we could get a private loan to help her.
What do we do? She’s confused. As a newly recommitted follower of Christ, she really felt that she was on the path God had chosen for her. Was she wrong? What now?

Our first impulse (well, my first impulse) is to launch a rescue by applying for more loans. But this is God’s business. She is His child. If He wants her to do this right now, He is fully capable of making a way. So, her dad and I have agreed to be still and pray for a few days and see what her loving Father does. Either way, we pray that He will protect (and even increase) her faith and hold her heart through whatever comes.

Also, we are asking God to strengthen our faith and fill us with His peace. Like a toddler who falls on her little diapered bottom and then looks at Mommy to see if she’s okay or if she should wail, our Fairy Princess will be looking into our eyes for reassurance. We want her to find peace and trust there, not panic and anxiety. After all, if we don’t trust God with her heart and her future, why should she?

Well, this story is far from over. God is doing amazing things in our daughter’s life. She has spent the last two years breaking free from a severe eating disorder, depression, anxiety, self-injury, and more. She is still recovering, still growing, still learning to go to her Heavenly Father with her pain and fear. He is healing her heart. Only He knows when she needs to leave our nest and try her wings on her own. Whenever that time comes, whether next month or next year, we will be cheering for all we’re worth, and we have no doubt she will fly.

To be continued…