Yeah, I know. That’s a really corny title. Just lightening the tone a little before I get into something that’s probably going to take me deeper than I’d like, but here we go.
So…..on January 5th, 2017, my daughter’s father and I took her to Raleigh to have a little lunch, knock around town for a little while with her..….and then put her on a plane to London for five months. Oh. My. Lord……
In my 47 and a half years of life, I do believe it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Somewhere during my daughter’s middle school years, she began her fascination with all things London-y. I think it started with music. She’d always had an eclectic taste in music, and I believe she stumbled across a few British bands among the indie performers she’d discovered. Or maybe, her first love of London came from watching Dr. Who. I thought it was kind of neat that my daughter liked one of the same shows I used to like when I was about her age. (Still do, kind of. Both of us.)
Then, she discovered Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock on the BBC. I don’t want to say that that’s what sealed the deal, but it was definitely a factor.
Anyway, she started looking into British customs and cultures. Started looking into colleges and programs in England. When she got to high school, she started thinking about studying abroad there when she got to college. (I just have to interject here that with my daughter, there was never really an “if” she went to college attitude with her. It was always “when” she went to college. Her father graduated from a school in West Virginia. Me…let’s just say I put in a couple of good years, but never quite punched that ticket.) Anyway, she reasoned that if she was able to study abroad in London, it would give her an immersive feel into the city and help her decide if she actually might like to live there one day or not.
Let me back up a little bit. I was born in NY, but grew up in a small town in NC. Her father was also born in NY, but was raised in a small town in WV. And somehow, this wonderful offspring of basically two country mice became in her heart a city mouse. When her high school chorus went to Chicago to perform in the *Festival of Gold competition, it was her first trip to a big city…and she fell in LOVE. The lights, the sounds, the people….everything just fascinated her. That’s probably when she seriously began thinking about just what she was going to do with her life after high school/college. What she wanted to be when she grew up…and where she wanted to live her life.
So yeah, she graduated high school in 2014 and went to one of THE greatest universities in the world, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go, HEELS!),
and she started looking into the study abroad program. She applied, and was accepted for her second semester of this her third year. God blessed her to not only be able to go, but she also received a VERY nice scholarship to help with her living expenses while she’s there. (Won’t He do it?)
So yeah, after her first semester, her father and I packed her up and moved her out of the dorm, had her home for just a couple of weeks, then sent her off to London, with our prayers and our hearts. Our doubts and fears, we kept to ourselves. 😦
Over the past few years, I’ve had lots of conversations with myself about just how I would feel if she did move to another country one day. And of course, I’ve threatened to stow away in her luggage and move with her to help watch over and take care of my eventual grandkids once she gets married and while she is pursuing her dream of getting her doctorate and (more than likely) going into child psychology. Of course I would miss her, but ultimately, we as parents raise our children to go away and leave us. Harsh, but true. And although I might not prefer her “leaving” to take her halfway around the world, it is her life, and the better she does, the better I’ll feel that I did my job as a parent.
And then one day, I began thinking. There are a lot of Biblical scholars out there who have studied the book of Revelations, and there doesn’t seem to be too much of a mention of the United States in the end times. Now, that can mean a couple of things. Either that the good ol’ US gets wiped off the face of the globe, or it gets sucked in to some other country’s control, thus loses enough of it’s autonomy to no longer be considered a “nation” of it’s own. Or it is still around, just of no significance at all to the world, so why even bother mentioning it. But although the Biblical future of the EU is not certain, at least it still appears to exist. So, I have begun telling myself that God, in His infinite wisdom, placed it in my daughter’s heart to want to move to a place that at least has a chance at a future before the final destruction of these times.
Of course, since my daughter is saved and has been since she was nine years old, her ultimate future is secured – thank You, Jesus. But maybe my God is just making a way to let her live as full of a life as possible here on this world, in this life, before she begins her eternal life one day with Him?
That thought gives me peace. And since my God is truly a God of peace, then I thank Him for giving it to me. I praise Him for looking out for my child – HIS child – like that. Thank You, God. for placing London in her heart – and thank you, London, for taking such wonderful care of her while she’s there!
I’ve heard too many times that God’s purposes for our lives will become our passions. He wouldn’t have us doing kingdom work that we hated, but something that we strive toward and enjoy. So His kingdom work for my child became a passion in her heart to go to London. Only He knows exactly what it is He has planned for her, or for her to do. But He made the preparations years ago. My God is pretty good like that.
Do you know Him? Do you know the wonderful, loving God I know? If not, what’s the harm in at least getting to know Him? If you don’t feel that He is as wonderful and loving and thoughtful and caring and merciful as I know Him to be, then you are free to walk away…back to the life you have now….back to relying on yourself…..back to believing you have to be it all and do it all by yourself.
But He could be everything you ever hoped for. He could be the answer to the yearning and the passion in your heart.
If you don’t know Him…..but you would like to……just say the following words, out loud or in your heart. It doesn’t matter. As long as it’s sincere, He WILL hear you.
Dear God, I am a sinner. I am not perfect, and know I never can be. But I believe that Jesus Christ is Your perfect Son, and that You sent Him to die for me so that I might have the chance to know you. I believe He died as a sacrifice for my sins. I believe You raised Him from the dead three days later with all power over life, death, sin, hell, and the grave in His hands. I believe He lives now as my risen Lord. I accept the freely given gift of your Son as my Savior, and accept your free gift of eternal life. I repent of my sins. Please help me to turn from my sins and follow you as my Lord.
Now, don’t expect anything magical to happen as a result of this. No chorus of angels, no bright lights from heaven. (Although if something like that does happen, that’s cool too!) But expect to be different, because you are different now. Now, you belong to a God who loves you immensely! Now, you have a global family who loves you – go find some of them. Find a good Bible believing church and strengthen the roots you’ve just put down. And welcome to the family!!
If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this blog post, thank you again for spending some time with me. Hopefully, you’ve gotten something out of this – either a little entertainment or a whole new life! Please feel free to come back any time. If you’d like to subscribe to my blog, that would be great too. Either way, thanks for stopping by, and have a blessed day!
*Sorry about the video quality. It was taken by one of the parents. Oh yeah, if you’re interested, my daughter is all the way on the left on the second row in the video. Another oh yeah, they won their category!