and our children go off to kindergarten...
Of course, a blog about kindergarten is requisite. I've had this one saved in my drafts all week. I inserted the picture and then laid my head down on my keyboard to cry. I'd think of how i wanted to begin, open up the draft, take one look at the picture and lay my head back down. I can remember rocking Chloe in her nursery when she was a week old. She was tiny and I was sobbing. Literally sobbing. I had never felt so vulnerable, so utterly helpless, so absolutely terrified and filled with so much joy, all at the same time. I was overwhelmed with emotion. holding that sweet baby girl, looking into those big brown eyes, it was the first time in my life that I felt my heart was no longer beating within me, but living and breathing and resting in my arms.
And so tomorrow, Chloe will head off to Kindergarten, carrying my heart with her and I feel the same vulnerability and helplessness that I did when she was a newborn. It is the same angst that so many mommies are feeling tonight. Our babies are growing up. We are getting older. Kindergarten marks one of our first major lessons, in parenting, of loosening our grip, all in preparation for that dreadful day when we must learn to let go.
It's the night before Kindergarten. But it isn't all thats on my mind - or my heart - tonight. It's four days before my baptism and six days before I return to college. . . major life changes are swirling all around me, filling me with bittersweet anxiety. I have never adapted easily to change. I was traumatized by changes in my childhood and am constantly filled with angst as I perceive my children's lives through the tainted lens of my memories.
Kindergarten is a milestone, like so many others, where we are reminded of how fleeting our time really is. it is a moment that forces us to pause in reflection, in awestruck wonder of how five years passed by as if they were mere seconds. (pausing to lay my head on my keyboard a bit longer...)
“You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” -Psalm 39: 5
In those moments of reflection on our past, we can't help but examine the present and it is then I become aware of how different the landscape of my life is from what I'd planned for this season. I had always envisioned the milestone of my children beginning school as somewhat of a mark of permanence in my life and theirs. I envisioned that we would be, by that time, in the home that we would spend a lifetime in; the home that they would grow up in, come home from college to visit us in; a home built not with bricks and mortar but with love and stability.
During moments such as these, there are no methods of escapism and the reality of my life and the lives of my children in contrast with what I once hoped - and what I once had - is heart wrenching. I have no candy coated words in which to make the reality easier to swallow. There are no smooth, consolations that make it easier to hear - or bear.
Like everything else, I have to lay this burden at His feet. My heart's desire was to lay foundations of stone in the lives of my children, and yet, I had given them sand. I wandered from a garden into a sun scorched land. The past is difficult to reflect upon and the consequences of my present are often difficult to live through. but God... "He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise." (Psalm 40:2-3) and as I read His words, I knew, the same promise is true for my children.
He is the solid rock on which I stand and just as David Platt said recently during the series on Ruth: "Jesus comes to save during the worst of times, by His grace he has pursued us. Jesus alone guarantees the promise of restoration."
He brings His people from bitterness to happiness; emptiness to fullness; despair to hope. He uses our pasts, even those marked by sin and failure, and redeems it for His glory.
"Sin from your past does not dispel hope for your future. Therefore, we do not look towards the unbearable past, but we look towards the unbelievable future". ~ D. Platt, Ruth Part 4
Pieces of my past are unbearable. Pieces of my present are difficult. but my future, in Him, unbelievable.
His story of redemption is being written across humanity and across my heart - yes, even as my heart goes off to Kindergarten in the morning.