We leave in an hour to drop Sierra off at college to start her Freshmen year.
She is on this verge of the miracle of launch into adulthood, independence, and freedom like she has never experienced before. It is an exciting time of exploring new contexts, new relationships, and new opportunities. It is the time of making up her mind like she has never had to do before, defining her boundaries likes she has never had to do before, and growing up emotionally and spiritually like she has never had to do before.
She will have the time of her life and she will be bored.
She will meet incredible people and she will meet some real dogs.
She will experience inspiration and she will experience discouragement.
She will rediscover herself because new cultures and contexts for the rediscovery.
She will discover new parts of herself that are a joy, a relief, and are confidence building while she will also find new parts of herself that require attention, management, and care.
She will face questions for which she will have well rehearsed answers and she will face questions which demand more wisdom of her than she has ever had to produce.
These are important days for Sierra Joy Gonzalez.
And we won't see much of any of those days. We will get rare and intermittent dispatches from the frontier - for we, too, are on the verge of the miracle of launch. For 18 years, four months, and 6 days the only way we have ever known how to relate to her landed on the "responsibility for her life" spectrum. And now we're launching from that spectrum to another one called, "watch her fly."
We have only limited experience with this new "watch her fly" role - and we're not very good at it.
We don't know what it's like when she goes "home" to a different bed.
We don't know what it's like for her room to be empty at night - where is the blue glow of her iphone?
We don't know yet how to eat dinner, the three of us rather than the four of us.
We don't yet know how much or how little to communicate and by which means.
We don't yet know how much of her life we'll even get to know.
How will we balance "we've parented our best" and "she's going to need some help"?
How will we navigate so much no knowing?
What will we do with the space left open now that she is filling other space?
These are important days for Chris and Gail Gonzalez.
I rest on these things in this miracle of launch:
1. God's love transcends challenges (Romans 8:38-39)
2. God's still working on us (Philippians 1:6)
3. God can make good out of anything (Romans 8:28)