“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:7-9
It had to be the hardest thing I’d ever done! I was saying goodbye to my daughter, Madison. She was beaming with excitement and expectation, while I was fighting back the sobs within. I thanked the Lord that He allowed me to get to the rental car before I melted into a mess. Sending my 17 year old off to college was the best of times and the worst of times. Even though I intellectually could say that God had opened this door 1100 miles away, my heart was breaking knowing that my day to day life would be absent of the precious daughter knit to my heart. Why did her new ‘freedom’ feel like my defeat? “Help me Lord, to hold her with an open hand to You.”
On the airplane traveling home I was still crying (ok-sobbing) not even caring what others thought about me. (If you knew me—you would be really impressed at this giant step.) The next week I remember making progress and updating my facebook status to: “still crying, but at least I’m not nauseous anymore”.
For Madison you could hear her William Wallace ‘Braveheart’ cheer of FREEDOM. She had the freedom to make choices without “the world” aka our small town watching every step and without being scrutinized as a “missionary kid”. She also had the freedom to make new friends that taught her about the ways of THE world. In this world she experienced the grieving of God’s Spirit in a place far from home. BUT she also experienced the kindness that leads to repentance and the delight of God’s precious grace when we run back into His arms.
For me, it was four years of desperately clinging to the Lord and learning a new level of dependence, and yes ‘freedom’ in this dependence. My prayer life exploded as I sometimes woke up in the middle of the night experiencing panic attacks. Nonetheless, my desire to control all my daughter’s choices even though I knew she needed to live in this freedom was my steady struggle. I recognized a right action doesn’t guarantee a heart dependent on God though. So I learned to sit at God’s feet imploring Him to draw her to Himself, and enlisting trusted friends to join me.
It is with much mom pride that I can tell you Madison graduated Magna cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, BUT our greatest joy is that in her freedom Madison chooses to run after God. In those four years MY life was refined! In a new freedom I am able to say that this year she is no longer 1100 miles away from home but over 6000 miles, being a light in the Middle East. I still miss my kindred spirit and her day-to-day infectious laugh, but there are no middle of the night panic attacks. True freedom comes in dependence. ~ Pam McCune
Sacred Story is honored to hear from Pam McCune as a guest contributor in March. Pam is a wife, mother, author, speaker, and very successful failure. It is her joy to share the wisdom learned through failure with women on a daily basis. Also, she has loved on college students for the last 29 years with CRU. It has been her privilige to challenge students to know Christ personally and run towards Him with delight.