There’s a reason they’re called growing pains.
And I’m the one experiencing them, not my “nearly a teenager and I can hardly believe how tall she’s gotten” daughter.
On second thought, I’m sure she has them, too, but on this particular day, they were mine.
The pains aren’t physical, though they’re in my heart. It’s the tears that flow when I send her off for the day with a group of church teenagers, wishing and hoping that she’ll have a good time. It’s praying the day away – for her safety, for her to make wise decisions, for her heart to be open, for her to be sensitive to the needs of others, for her not to feel foolish or embarrassed, for her to meet all that comes with a happy heart and a clear conscience, for her not to lose her spending money.
Yet if the day brings hard things, new experiences, even these will be good for her, will teach her valuable lessons, give her an appreciation for the ordinary, and help her know what to do the next time.
It’s the pain of emotions I struggle with, wanting to hold her close, yet aching for her to have the confidence to be free.
Then she returns, the day and her energy spent, full of anecdotes and laughs and I listen as she shares her day.
I doubted, worried – all for naught. And my faith in God is once again strengthened. He carried her through; He carried me through. And this is just the beginning. Days like this will begin to come more quickly than I can handle them. She and I will grow and stretch in ways I’m sure I can’t imagine from this vantage point.
While the “firsts” you’re facing with your children may be different than mine, may we all grasp the fact that we can trust God with these precious gifts. He loves them far more than we, in our humanity, can. And while the tears and doubts and struggles will resurface on other occasions, I know, time and again, and again, and again, He will carry us through.