I’ve just returned from getting my daughter settled in Connecticut for what will be a five year graduate program. The journey contained all the joy and heartache that comes with letting go and moving on. I am so proud of her and she is more than prepared for this part of the journey and yet we can never really let go of our children.
Our journeys are similar in the fact that we both left the Midwest for grad school out east. I remember driving with my dad, all my worldly possessions loaded into my little Toyota Carola, and crying the whole way. I remember taking my dad to airport and begging him not to leave me behind. And yet, I also found a true home and community in seminary. I eventually met my husband there and we even lived out east when our daughter was born. It is my prayer that my daughter finds this her community as well… for now.
The reality is that we move through times and places in our lives that are different, sometimes even uncomfortable. We find “home” in varieties of places that see us through seasons. What sustains us is a sense of calling and presence, no matter our journey or vocation. We feel we are where we need to be and that we are not alone.
It is the divine presence that has sustained me through many, many twists and turns. Even when I found myself in places that were not welcoming and home-like, I always knew that God was there with me and would lead me over the next horizon.
God is often referred to as our “parent”. And like a good parent, God has the same mix of emotions as we are launched. God is proud of the way we have lived into God’s plan for us and used all the gifts and talents we were created and blessed with. God delights when we soar and fly. And yet, God too, never lets us go. God is always there.
As people of faith our challenge is to live fully into that knowledge. We are launched – free to do what God calls us to do. But we are also never alone. When it’s time for change or a move in a different direction, we need not fear. God’s got this.
May we have the courage to follow new paths knowing that God goes with us.