Launching Into Destiny
Driving in the drizzling rain through the Hill Country of south Texas in August is a rare blessing. We were returning from an amazing time with friends in Fredericksburg and listening to Cori’s worship playlist. The gentle shower and the sacred music felt a bit like Heaven on Earth. As I was enjoying the moment, I looked over at Bill sure to see the same peace in his countenance. Instead, he was shaking slightly with a huge stream of tears dripping off his cheeks. I immediately asked him what was wrong. He turned to me and said, “I’ve just seen Cori singing this song so many times when I look to the backseat through the rearview mirror, but when I glanced back there I realized she’s not there.”
We moved Cori into her dorm last weekend at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. She is our youngest and at only seventeen it was a bittersweet experience. As her mother, I had anticipated a complete breakdown at some point. After loading two vehicles with bed linens, shower caddies, and a semester’s worth of clothes, we left our house; headed to her new home for the next few years. It was difficult to see her room so empty. (I am actually writing atop her extremely high pillow top bed.) We knew God was a huge part of her decision and would be beside her all the way and this gave us comfort.
Move In Day went extraordinarily well. Watching Cori set up her room and get situated was a blessing. We joined her in the student union to register for a P.O. box and get her student I.D. – all was well. We even met the president of the university in a hallway and he invited us to attend a worship time that evening. Bill and I decided to stay and join Cori for the event. We are so glad we did. The president spoke such encouraging words over the students and the worship time was wonderful. God confirmed Cori’s decision to choose ORU for a final time. Then, Cori walked us to the parking lot for our last goodbyes. That is when it happened.
I watched tears well up in Cori’s eyes as she prepared for us to get into the car and pull away. I remained surprisingly calm. I knew this is where God had sent her and that she was completely within His care and will. There was no safer place on Earth for her. I would have my moments of missing her company but in this moment I was filled with peace: until I noticed Bill. He was overcome. Cori had reached for him and they embraced with their arms wrapped around each other in overwhelming emotion. Tears ran from their closed eyes and no words were adequate for this moment. They just hugged each other and cried. There was no sorrow, only the realization that a new era had begun.
Cori was walking into her God-given destiny. It was a beautiful experience. Yet, the fact that we were returning to a home that would no longer echo her beautiful voice from the bathroom next to her room during her hour-long showers was more than this Daddy could bear. They clung to one another for quite awhile. We eventually drove away. Finally, tears broke through for me and all I could say was, “I am going to miss her so much.”
Why had I been so calm? Where was the expected blubbering and sniffling? It should have been me, not her father. No. The reassurance that God had made a way for her to attend THIS university where His Spirit is strong and the evidence of her incredible relationship with her earthly father filled me with such peace and joy. Now, I do have my moments, (I will need to wipe the keyboard after finishing this story) but seeing those two in an embrace of supernatural love and knowing that she knows that kind of fatherly love gives me so much joy. She is more than ready for her adventure.
As parents, the best blessing we can give our children is to encourage them to follow their dreams. Pray everyday for each of your children to receive a dream from God and that you will have the opportunity to fan that gift from God into a flame.
We were not always intentional parents. You may know the story. One afternoon in the middle of a spiritual battle for the freedom of our souls, God spoke to Bill. It wasn’t an audible voice, but like a message you have memorized that repeats in your spirit. Only, Bill had not heard or read this message before. God said, “Bill, you are not mourning over the things that happened to you as a child, but over the thing things that didn’t.” In other words, it was the lack of intentional blessing that left the biggest wound. I will never forget what happened next. Bill bolted into the house and grabbed two legal pads and pens. When he returned, we spent the next several hours making intentional lists for our children and grandchildren. We wrote down the things we wanted to pour into each of them. We became intentional parents that day in our backyard. Become intentional today, it will be worth a good cry when you see the fruit God can produce in the hearts of your children.