With every passing season, it can be hard to close the chapter and move on to the next season of life. I remember very clearly the night I decided I was nursing Reagan for the very last time; tomorrow she would wake up and we would be officially done with the weaning process. With a sigh that this chapter was ending, it was time to embrace the next season.
Sending my daughters off to grade school for the very first time was also the end of a season of life that I loved and cherished. I loved having my girls home as toddlers 24/7. I loved being the voice of influence and now I would share that time and authority with others. With another season ending, I was no longer the only voice shaping and molding my impressionable daughters.
Moving from Kindergarten through the elementary years, into middle school, and then high school, each season was wonderful. With every chapter closing, there were emotions that I would never get this time of life back, I would never have a "do-over." But with every ending, there was the most beautiful beginning to be enjoyed and cherished. We transitioned from instructing our daughter to sharing profound discussions about life, theology, and morality. Oh, how I missed the days of Reagan in her big white bow, eager to learn in Kindergarten. But now, I had the joy of engaging my daughter in intellectual and weighty conversations about life.
Driving my girl cross-country was no different. Another chapter was ending. She moved out. She moved 24 hours away. She is now an adult doing life on her own. But with another season ending, my only sadness is knowing that I have completed all the seasons of life of having my girl at home. I will never get back the days of nursing and cuddling Reagan as a newborn. I will never get a do-over of the toddler years and school days filled with homework, teachers, and sports. The only sadness is that I loved each season to the fullest that I didn't want it to end. And yet, I did live life to the fullest, I did embrace every season. I have no regrets about each new chapter, because I lived in the moment. And when it was time to turn the page and enter into the wonderful new season of launching, this too has been nothing short of spectacular.
Launching our daughter was a blast! Honestly, it was so much fun! Reagan was incredibly busy during the summer with an internship. So our time was limited for our last summer together. But the week before she needed to be at school, we embarked on the most incredible 2-week journey. We took our time driving across the United States making our way from Virginia to Texas. We made multiple stops, just having fun from theme parks to the Smokey Mountains; from hot springs to the Ozark Mountains. We took our time. We drove. We talked. We had fun. We laughed. We relished our last week being together just my husband, myself, and Reagan.
Decorating her dorm room and saying good-bye was filled with friends, laughter, tears, and blessings. As we stood among the several thousand freshman students and parents, the chaplain asked for the students to open their hands in an act of receiving a blessing while parents laid hands on their children to pray for them. We prayed blessings over our children, entrusting them into our Father's loving care, and we said good-bye.
The journey home was just as fabulous and special as the trip down. There were no tears, no sadness, only laughter and smiles. It was a celebration of gratitude that God had chosen and entrusted us to be Reagan's parents. We have known she is not ours to hold tightly, but rather a gift that would eventually fly. Celebrating each season while embracing the next has allowed us to live in the moment with no regrets. There were so many fun stops along the way home from Austin city limits to the charm of Nashville. My husband and I celebrated the joys of parenting. We made time to celebrate "us". We didn't rush home, instead, we took time to soak up the joys and seasons we had experienced for 18 years. After our children launch, our marriage is what will last. We celebrated God's goodness in allowing us to parent our girls and watch them grow into World Changers.