It’s been fun to see all of the first day of school pictures on my facebook feed. I love seeing all the sweet faces and the first day outfits. I’m sure they were carefully picked out. This year it’s been great to see the kids that I’ve ministered to in the past; whether that was in preschool YEARS ago or kids I just met this spring.
It’s amazing to watch all of my friend’s kids grow up. And it’s bittersweet to post pictures of my own kids. My youngest is officially starting her first day of high school today. Where did the time go??!! Gone are the days of cute little matching outfits, tiny little Barbie brand eyeglasses, and brightly colored character backpacks. She’s starting her high school career, ready to tackle tough subjects, and beginning the four year march to life after high school.
I have always had the thought that as we raise our kids the boundaries have to get broader. When they’re young it’s like the narrow end of a funnel. Strong boundaries of right and wrong, black and white, decisions made from choice A or choice B. As they get older and develop their thinking skills the funnel gets a little wider. They get to be part of the conversation, offering their ideas, choices, and bearing the consequences of those choices. I’m still there to set those off limits areas, a gentle reminder and some course correction when they stray too far to the left or right.
Eventually though, my job is to release them.
That gives me such pause, in many ways. Even though I can hardly believe my baby is in high school, I need to be pointing her towards the future path that God has planned for her. The boundaries get a little wider as I give her time and space to flex her own faith muscles. Time to work out with God who He has called her to be, while still providing prayer and guidance over the next four years. I have a feeling they’re going to fly by.
And one day, like my oldest son, I will be releasing her. All of my kids will always have my heart, my advice, my love, my blessing. So today, on her first day of high school, I prayed for her. I blessed her. I commissioned her to walk boldly with God into all He has planned for her.
Then I watched her walk away towards her future. And I released her just a little more.