As we take you to college for the first time today, I have to tell you that my heart is full of so many emotions and my mind is flooded with the most precious of memories. The tears are already flowing....just when I didn't think I had any more tears left to cry. I better make this short, if that's possible.
It seems like yesterday that I held you in my arms for the very first time. Oh, how I had counted the days until you arrived. I had dreamed of you (and your sister) my whole life. All I ever longed to be was a wife and a momma...of girls! And oh, how God blessed and blessed me with you and your sister! And you both are far better than my best dream on my best day!
You and I have shared so many "firsts." You are my first daughter, the first grandchild on both sides of the family, the first one to deprive me of sleep in the middle of the night (do you remember the song, "Sleep Sound in Jesus?" I think I sang that song to you in the middle of the night at least a million times...and even though I was tired physically, I wouldn't have changed a second of it. It was our secret time together and I treasured it all.
You were my first living doll to play dress up with. We were blessed with so many beautiful outfits, I could have changed your clothes five times a day and never run out. And you could rock those Texas sized bows!
First experience with pediatricians and evil nurses who gave you shots and didn't think twice about it hurting your feelings...or mine...and oh how I ached when you ached, cried when you cried, hurt when you hurt. I still do.
First ballet shoes, first dance recitals...you were the most beautiful one who knew every step and made sure your fellow ballet dancers did too. First day of Kindergarten. You were so brave...much braver than your mother. I'll never forget you telling me when I picked you up (I think I was at the school 30 minutes before it was time for you to go home because I just couldn't wait any longer) that you sat across from Jesus all day long. His name was actually pronounced Heysoos, but yes, your precious Saviour was with you all day long too!
First bed time prayers at the foot of your bed, first bed time stories...and then another, and another and, "Just one more please, momma?" First choir presentations, first solos, first "Santa Baby" performance in Mrs. Holland's class, first loose tooth, first lost tooth, first t-ball game (you always had a bow in your hair, even when you wore your baseball hat), first day of junior high (oh, your locker was so cool), first heart break (I still don't like that punk that broke your heart), first experience with band (my favorite saxophone player), first broken bone, first junior high dance, first basketball game, first day of high school, first driver's ed lesson and I was your teacher, first learner's permit, driving tests, passing and making it official.
First time to watch you drive down the driveway....on two wheels (don't know where you get your need for speed~ha!) and drive to the big city praying every mile that you drove that God would bring you safely home. First date, first prom, first solo in church, and so many more.
Seeing first-hand with my own eyes the very miracle that you are and rejoicing every day for your God-given health and His absolute mercy and grace over your precious life and your precious, precious head. I'll never stop praising Him for as long as I live.
And I pray that there are many firsts still to share...but this one today probably will never be my favorite. You see precious one, heart of my heart, I've dreaded this day since the day you began Kindergarten. This heart of mine knew that all too quickly you would grow up...I blinked...and here we are today. Butterfly kisses keeps playing in my mind...that and the Darth Vader march...I hope you are smiling reading that.
I am fully assured that the very One who asked us in 2009 if we believed that anything was too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:27) and if we believed that He was able to do this (Matthew 9:28) will be with you every step of the way. He will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19); He will be by your side every step of the way. Sweet daughter of mine, keep trusting in Him (Psalm 37:5) and depending on Him and together you two can accomplish the great things that He has planned for your life (Philippians 4:13).
And your daddy, sister, Granny, Grandpa, Nonnie, Poppie, Sissie, Uncle G, your Liebs, and I will be cheering all the way! We are so proud of the person that you have become. And while our hearts will miss you terribly, we know you are where God wants you to be and we trust His plans for your life. And we can't wait to hear all about them! Dream big, sweet child of mine...your Heavenly Father dreams big plans over your precious life!
And don't forget to call me every day....I'll be waiting by the phone....you know I will. So call me, okay? I'm still waiting??? Hello? Is this thing working??? Just kidding...sort of. I love you more than I thought was humanly possible...more than the fish in the sea, more than the stars in the sky, more than the songs the birds sing (remember this game we would play at night?). I love you, sweetheart. It's time to soar!
(I think I'll trade the Darth Vader march song for this one...oh how we love you!)