Ready for Take Off

The Monarchs Flight

Sunny Saturday morn
Cool water on bright flowers
Praising, I look to the sky
Eyes closed. Pondering
A breeze across my face
Winds from the west
Airport to the east
Jet engines roar overhead
Praise interrupted with tears
A week from today
She will leave
Like a Monarch
Her flight to Mexico
Late August
Emerging from a cocoon
Spreading her beautiful wings
A calling to home
Or running away
Will she return next summer
Will this be forever
We do not know. He does.
That is all that really matters

The Poet Who Didn’t Know It

Ready for take off.

Last Saturday (Aug 22) I wrote and published a poem above “The Monarchs Flight”. A few days ago, someone anonymously placed a copy of the August 23 Jesus Calling devotional in our mailbox. Today our daughter left for Mexico flying with a one-way ticket. She cannot get a student visa at this time so she will have to return at some point. Even so, she may never return “home”. We have known for many years she would leave with a one-way ticket but we never imagined it would be preceded by a period of estrangement. [Gasp] I typed the words and may post this and reveal the dark secret behind last months ambiguous request for prayers for our family.

An amBIGuous prayer request.
Faith in a BIG God.
A BIG net of prayer warriors.
BIG trust in a small circle of confidants.

It’s no secret that my words are transparent. I’ve learned lessons about hanging dirty underwear on the line and sacrificially offering my loved ones on the alter of this blog and social media. This is different. I hope it is seen as such.

She is our only child. I have tried to walk the tightrope balance of parenting without helicoptering, loosening the apron strings without releasing her unprepared, accepting that the world will chisel naïveté and this last push would inevitably be the painful part of birthing an adult.

She was often my shadow as a child and by my side as a young lady. We did so much together. I often warned her there would likely come a day when she would be anxious to leave home and she may even resent me. It could come around 16 or soon thereafter. I’d say, “don’t be surprised but please be kind”.

Most of us went through this season. Sometime after it passes, many of us grew to appreciate what we had at home. There comes a time kids look forward to visits and adulting with their folks (not always).

Never did I expect to lose her the way things went down last month. I’m grateful the village God blessed us with provided a net to catch her. God is sovereign and uses all things for His purpose. The past weeks have provided chapters of lessons. Even so, the days to come will provide all the more insight to His vision for us as a family and as individuals.

The same prayer request posted here last month had been given to our church prayer team several weeks, for months before this summer. He knew how to go about His business and does not miss a detail. He knew the last few weeks were part of a multifaceted plan and prepared details in advance.

Thank you to the person who read the passage below on Sunday, copied it, snuck it into our mailbox, and likely offered a prayer or two as well. I’ll be honest, my human pride was a tad offended at first. That emotion was quickly followed by remorse that I have been unapproachable (again pride and deep-set roots of defensiveness I am working to extract from my heart). Was it intended for me, or my husband, or both of us? Some diabolical thoughts tried to creep in until I relented to the Spirit I have been squelching for years. I let grace allow me to see someones earnest intent rather than rebuke for our dysfunction. I said to my husband, “I know confrontation is hard but I wish this person only knew how much I needed a listening ear too.”

It is hard for those in disbelief of God to understand but I know He has been with us the entire time. As challenging as it is to let our babies grow up to be cowboys, parenting is very much like the love our Creator lavishes on us. He doesn’t like the painful chiseling that life requires but He knows it is necessary to shape us, stretch us, grow us, humble us.

When I wrote the poem, I didn’t know if my daughter would say goodbye before she left. I had to be ok with that and trust God. Either she, I, or both of us needed more time. I pleaded for Him to give me the chance to see her again, at least to say goodbye. If not, I prayed that I wouldn’t be resentful. He blessed me with a short but sweet visit yesterday afternoon including a moment of laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks. I missed that so much. What a precious gift! I got to hug her and hold her before they left for the airport this afternoon. She and her dad have had moments in these last weeks that were necessary too. God is good. Always.

Thank you anonymous bringer of parenting devotions. You did as He prompted and your effort holds more purpose than you might have realized. ❤️


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