I couldn’t stop jumping up and down and screaming as I saw the lights coming down the road…they got bigger and bigger as they came closer to the house and the car slowed down and made that familiar turn into the driveway. I hadn’t seen that sight in two months. My baby girl. Coming home.
I was ecstatic as I opened the door squealing and getting her inside quickly as the rain was relentlessly downpouring. I was thrilled that she was home, after three hours on edge as she drove through the torrential rain in the dark.
Yes, just like that, she was home.
The boys were out so we were able to spend some time together. She ate the soup I had made for her and I was cooking up some more goodies- I wanted the house stocked with her favorites!
As I cooked, she told me all about her life at college and I soaked it all in. She was all smiles and excitement as she talked about all of her new friends, her new experiences, her new life.
She dropped her bags and put her shower caddy in the bathroom and I just remember seeing it on the counter and smiling. She was home. Her stuff was here. And her fragrance filled the air. It was heavenly.
She was home. I was one happy mama.
Going to sleep that night, knowing all six of us were under the same roof was a dream. I went to bed with the lingering smell of rose and vanilla, her fragrance. It was sweet dreams indeed.
The next few days were cozy, and fun, and family. We adventured like the old days…shopping and having fun. She visited with family and friends. We went to get pumpkins and do “fall things.” All the while I knew it was temporary, but I tried to relish in the moment.
It is funny how life can slap you in the face left and right sometimes. Two months ago I cried tears like never before when she left. But after a few weeks, I had grown accustomed to our new life and I was so happy for her that the tears were gone. We were settled into our new routine at home and she was starting a beautiful life out there.
So when she came home I hadn’t really been missing her the way I was when she left. I was too happy for her to be sad for me. Life had moved on, and I was filled with joy for all of us.
But when she was here, it all changed. It was like a taste of the old days…and as soon as we started to settle in, it was time for her to leave again.
This morning I woke up with that dreadful feeling again. She’s leaving today. My stomach had a knot in it. I went downstairs and saw all of her bags at the door, packed and ready to go. Just days ago they were a joyful sight to see coming in the door…and now they’re all packed up again, ready to go out the door. The bathroom counter was, once again, empty.
But I was comforted by the fact that she was going to be leading worship at church with her old worship team this morning before she went back to school and I couldn’t wait to see them all together again. And when I walked into the sanctuary and I saw them praying before service, I just started to cry.
It was like a terrible tease. A piece of the past, here in the present, but it wasn’t the same.
And I have realized life doesn’t stay the same. And that’s good a thing.
If I had kept her home because it was comfortable and easy and everything would be the same, I would have stifled her growth. At college, she is thriving and living the life God intended for her. She has numerous opportunities, is meeting amazing people, and doing exciting things.
That’s what is supposed to happen. God has a plan for her. And it isn’t here.
And that’s OK. In fact, it’s more than OK. It is good. God is good. And He is leading her.
So tonight, I lie in bed feeling melancholy, but also knowing tomorrow I will wake up again, and life will continue to move on and change and grow. Life is a journey, and it can be happy and sad with tears of joy and sorrow co-existing. It isn’t supposed to stay the same and it may not always be comfortable. But when we rely on God, we are content in every circumstance. And we trust that He is working in our lives for a purpose far greater than ourselves.
As I drift to sleep tonight, I will savor that little bit of rose and vanilla scent lingering in the air knowing that tomorrow it will have faded. Until next time.