Just twenty-four hours ago she left behind 5th grade and will, in the blink of an eye, be entering middle school. That one with the button nose, freckled and sun kissed, oh how I wish I could still time and keep her right where she is. I want this to never, ever end. Yesterday, before school I sat back and just took her all in, watching from afar. She was busy chatting with friends, laughing, looking all too grown up. Her eyes never met mine and mine never left her face. How do I slow time's current, the river ever rushing?
She is looking forward to lockers and friends and growing up, anticipating the world of the big girl. And me, I want nothing more than for her to put her red Mary Janes back on her feet and curl up together, retreat to the days of dolls and tricycles and no thought of anything grown up, just savor those moments of childhood a minute longer.
I know well how rocky the road to adulthood can be.
Mental snapshots, pictures of where her feet have trod run through my mind and almost without thought I pray for God to guide her next and every step, to help her always walk in a manner worthy of the calling He has on her life.
The last few weeks there is a mental burden on my shoulders, life lessons to teach that must come through my funnel, His funnel. There are things she needs to know.
Like how her name is just what she is; gift from God, unmerited favor.
Like how what she chooses in a moment will determine what she will experience in many future moments. Every choice carrying with it blessing or consequence.
Like how this world will tell her that the appearance of her face and body are more important than the state of her heart, and how very wrong they are.
Like how boys may turn her head, but there is one, already chosen by The One, for her alone - in His right and good time and how precious her innocence is to him and Him. God doesn't say "No". He says, "Not now."
Like no matter how good a friend is, there are no perfect people, only shadows of grace in a fallen world. And that girls at this age can be so fickle and hurtful. It is her job to live like Him, extend grace and forgive. 70x7.
Like no matter what, she is fearfully and wonderfully made, perfectly imperfect. She is meant to be just as she is. It would never do for her to try to be someone else.
I want to tell her that character matters and integrity is important. That being kind makes a difference and that a spirit of gratitude is rare. I want her to know that though the world is ugly, it is beautiful and that by merely paying attention, looking for His gifts, she can live this one life well. Moment by moment.
"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson