Back to School

Laura Okane

It seems like just yesterday when we were standing before the big wall of backpacks at Wal-Mart, searching for the perfect bag to fit her five-year old self. We then rifled through bins of fat pencils and Fiskar scissors with the blunt tip. I was a little overcome with emotion and wonder. How did these five years go so fast?

Today I was standing with this same sweet girl in Bed, Bath, and Beyond, looking for the perfect bedding to fit her college budget. We searched for matching sheets and pillows to complete the set. I was more than a little overcome with emotion this time. Where did these eighteen years go?

My head is excited for the journey before her, even though my heart is a little sad. I will miss her smile and constant singing! We will have an empty spot at our dinner table, and when we run errands, we can take the regular car. She will be missed.

But then I remind myself, she is a child of God, and his plans for her are so much better than mine. The road ahead will be fun, full of adventure, with (hopefully) just a smattering of challenges and bumps in the road.

College is a time when many are searching for themselves and developing their own worldview. As staff, we have the privilege to meet them where they are, offer them a community to belong, and share with them the good news of Jesus.

As a new year begins, I pray for unity with peers, leaders to step up, and searching students to feel welcomed. May the Lord grant you wisdom in ministry, boldness in faith, and an abundance of resources to accomplish the task before you.

And remember to give a special wave to the obvious first time mom dropping her child off to college. She will be wearing large sunglasses and clutching a box of tissue under her arm.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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