Home is Where the Dog is - Isn't it?
Kathy's Faith Walk carries her to a place of letting go
For the last two weeks we have had both our daughters home for a visit. It has been so nice and we had a lot of fun talking and hearing about their lives in their respective new homes. It is wonderful to see them growing into such wonderful women of God. But I also saw something else.
When our oldest daughter moved to Las Vegas last January, she was embarking on a two-year commitment to work in the world of foster care. Her love for God and children made this a perfect place to dive in as a servant, having already gotten her feet wet in the orphanages of Mexico and the Dominican Republic. I had already accepted the idea of her working in dangerous places and her willingness to not tell me everything about what she does and where she goes. I trust the LORD for her protection, but stuff happens. Her phone calls and Facebook page are full of tearful moments when orphans find a real home for the first time, and when they languish in the system. With the heart of a servant and an inner passion and strength to see justice, she is perfect for her job: connecting orphans to Christ-following families, and then supporting them.
Our other daughter went to Cannon Beach, Oregon where she served at the conference center for the summer. She was on her way home in her mind at summer’s end when God suddenly turned her heart back toward the beach. He gave her another opportunity to change, to think about another possibility, to make a decision to go a different direction. She took Him up on it and, in fact, did come back to us at summer’s end, but to pack the rest of her belongings and return “home.”
“Hey! Wait just a cotton picking minute!” my heart said. Home is in Ponderay, Idaho. Home is where you were raised, where you fell of the bike a million times, where you played with dolls and in the dirt. Home is where we all sat around the table laughing and crying and had Christmas breakfast together. Home is where the dog is. Home is where the house you were raised in is. Home is where Mom and Dad are... isn’t it?
On September 22, when I dropped my older daughter off at the airport to “go home” to Las Vegas, it began to dawn on me what was happening here. On September 24, when I dropped my younger daughter off in Cannon Beach, the gravity of the moment hit in broad daylight. And to make matters worse, I had eight hours to drive home, alone, and come to grips with it. Hadn’t I finished crying, mourning the loss of babies in the nest? Good grief……
God is very strange. As I set out on the eight hour drive home from Cannon Beach, the LORD began to talk to my heart. He encouraged me with the knowledge that all my children are serving Him and that IS where home is. My perspective had to change. I had to see these kids as grown up adults and I do. It was just a bit of a shock to realize that they are moved out of the nest not only bodily, but in their hearts and minds as well. I should let them go. I must let them go. Holding on to some imaginary need to still be needed is a tether that can make a little bird fly crooked.
It appears that this phase of my Faith Walk, the intense parenting part, is at an end and I am letting go. The boxes are all gone, the closets empty and the toys stowed for another time. Now it is phone calls, instant messaging, Facebook, and for my part handwritten notes and care packages. This is good. It is what we worked for. They are home.
Reach Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org