Sunday, January 12, 2014

The sound of silence

This silence is full. Beautiful. Holy. Thankful.

This blog silence is because I have been busy preparing, packing, driving, unpacking, and leaving my daughter at her new home - a university dormitory in the mountains of North Carolina.

Last week, two days before she left, I pulled out collages of her baby photos and put them up on the bookshelves in our family room. I told her that THAT is how I see her - as my baby. Heading out into the world as a college junior, living away from home.

This silence is one of awe and gratitude.
She made her lists and checked them twice.
She packed her stuff carefully and efficiently.
She ordered her books and paid for them with a gift card she received for Christmas.

When we arrived on campus on Thursday, she knew where to go and what to do to get her ID card and room key.
She left us to unload the minivan while she went off to orientation for people interested in becoming teachers.
She returned to her dorm with her first friend, Rachel - which happens to be the name of her best friend here in Charlotte.
She spent that first night transforming her room into her cave and private retreat.
The next day, she met a professor from the Literature and Language department, which will be her major, and Professor Lobby immediately began to work with her to optimize her schedule. He invited her to come to the department office on Monday (tomorrow) to meet his colleagues and so that he can  help her make the best class choices this semester.
I stood in awe as she was showered with favor and blessings on Friday: friends, advisors, professors, deans, new classmates, they all seemed committed to one another and to the success of all the students.
When the time came for us to say our farewells, we stood together on the sidewalk outside her dorm and prayed together, for continued safety, wisdom, provision, fun, and higher learning for her.
Then we hugged and kissed and watched her walk back to her dorm. No tears were shed. No hands were wrung. We had been preparing for her departure from home and her arrival at college for so long. She was ready. We were ready. And now she is on her own, growing in her independence daily, basking in it, happy and hopeful.

Five years ago last Monday, she came home from the hospital after a total of 31 days over the course of about 50 days and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Tomorrow she will begin her junior year of college. My gratitude, my joy, my excitement, my trust in her and in God are all boundless tonight.

This blog silence in no way reflects the laughter, the praise, the celebration, the joy that has been loudly expressed and experienced in our home over the past couple of weeks.

I took two prayers from The Book of A Thousand Prayers and adapted them for my dearly beloved daughter.  Lord, we pray for Kristiana as she leaves home for the first time. Help her to settle into her new surroundings, and be with her as she makes new friends and adjusts to different patterns of living. Watch over her, Lord, and guard her, we ask. Help her to know your love and constant presence wherever she is and protect her in mind and body. Fill her with the power and joy of your Holy Spirit and keep her faithful to your son, Jesus Christ. Amen? Amen.

She found that prayer in a card I gave her shortly before we began our journey back home
- along with a little bit of cash. Everybody needs a little cash in their pocket.

Go, Kristiana, go!

Do not forget - All shall be well. All shall be well. All manner of thing is already well.

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