May 19, 2012
Our beloved daughter, who absolutely hates for me to brag on her publicly, or share her (excellent) writing achievements, is going to have to tolerate me writing this with a bit of patience, especially as she is always telling me I have to write (more - or - again). It's been a while since I felt I had anything to say, and last time I started to in FB, nobody read it so I just figured it didn't matter. But I am doing this to exercise my writing gift and to give glory to the Father of Lights who has taught us a few strategies over the last 4 semesters as we have experienced being parents of a university student.
As so many of you know from experience, standing by your offspring as they go through college and university is a whole new experience after high school. In our case, it's also brought the empty nest far sooner than we'd have wished. Always, we have trusted the Lord with Debi because we knew she was His long before she was ours. She lives in a rented room with a family half a country away from us in the center of Colombia, in Bogotá, the capital, and studies professional photography in a design institute. She chose it because it also has a humanities curriculum and she has literature and art history every semester as well as all her photog classes.Along the way a passion for literature and writing, especially poetry, has been birthed and is flourishing in her. The whole experience has served to help her grow up a great deal (she's 18 now, and almost ready to be really independent.) We miss her all the time. We hate being separated from her, but we also rejoice at how much she has matured and know it has been important. She's an only child and this experience has removed so much dependence on us.
But there have been many times we'd have wished we could just run to her side and hold her in our arms and say, "It's ok. You'll get through this - a hard assignment, some frustration, being sick without me there to spoil her, whatever. She's a great young lady, multi-talented (one of her frustrations as it's hard to focus and really find her niche). We've had to learn how to encourage her while also letting her go, and let her go through the tests and trials and learn her lessons. We can no longer be there all the time to rescue and protect our baby. She is finding out how strong she can really be, how much she really can handle, and she has done us proud every semester.
We have learned how to intercede for her based on God's promises - His personal ones about her that we've held onto all her life as well as general Bible promises. In either case, we must pray the RHEMA word over her. He has been teaching us. His Holy Spirit gives the plan. So when she thinks she can't do any more (and she always does anyway), we first remind the Lord He has promised that she can do all things through Christ who strengthens her (Ph. 4:13).
Secondly, she has the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16)
Thirdly, everything she is going through is normal for all university students, and if it's too hard or unfair, He'll make a way to escape (1 Cor. 10:13), because He's faithful, and so she'll be able to bear it - triumph even.
Fourth, even in times of doubt, when assailed by all the new ideas (mostly old new age ideas which every generation sifts through), even if she isn't sure of God's presence and faithfulness, He cannot deny Himself and remains faithful to her. That's why we can trust HIM with her. Always, no matter what. (2 Tim. 2:13)
So we can continue to trust Him with our most precious treasure (2 Tim. 1:12). Because she has always been His. Because she was sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise one October morning when she was five years old and asked to be born again. And when I've asked Him, He has simply spoken in my spirit - "She is mine. No one and nothing can take her from me." And I know it's true. So I sleep at night even though my mom's heart gets nervous sometimes.
We're not done being parents yet. Even when she graduates - God willing, the end of this year - and is working, we will still be family, forever. It will continue to be our privilege as well as our responsibility to support our daughter with all our love, resources and especially prayer. And we will continue to do it with joy. Thank you, Jesus, for your unending faithfulness! God is good!