There she went.
She marched right in the door, hung up her backpack, washed her hands and sat down to get to work. No sign of a sniffle, no elongated hug, and not even a hint of leg clinging. Part of me was proud and a bigger part of me was crushed that my sweet little girl was ok heading off into her next adventure.
My baby girl had entered the realm of big girl status as she became a kindergartener.
I nearly wet myself.
How did it happen? This little miracle who was hooked up to oxygen and breathing machines as a newborn is now untethered and ready to tackle the world. I sometimes don’t know what to think when I see her growing up. I mean I know this is how the whole thing works and deep down I want her to grow up, but a big part of me also…doesn’t.
- I want her to stay as my little Beeger and snuggle up with me when she wakes up in the morning.
- I want her to have just a little trouble saying her “S’s”.
- I want her to use big words she hears Cherie and I say and then ask later what they mean.
- I want to be able to watch her sleep at night like I did when she was in the NICU so I can stroke her hair and tell her daddy loves her.
- I want to help her tie her shoes so I feel like she still needs me.
- I want lightning bugs to excite her and princesses to be cool.
- I want her to ask me to dance with her and throw her up in the air again and again.
- I want my little sweet girl to stay little….
But I know I can’t…I know she must grow…I know God has big plans for my little girl.
One day the world will know my little girl not because of who I am, but because of who God made her to be. She will be a leader, a wife, a mother, but more importantly, I pray, that she loves Jesus. My deepest desire is that she follows God’s grace-filled path all the days of her life and leans into the truth of His love.
Yet, there is something that has kicked me in the butt the past few days, weeks, and months.
What my baby girl knows about God starts with what she sees in me.
Does she see me say one thing on Sunday and act another way on Monday? Is the Bible a book that gets dusted off once a year when grandma comes around or does she see me face down in it every morning when she wakes up? Do we take her to church on Sunday so “mom and dad can have a break” or is church a place where she grows and learns about this God that loves her? Does she see me living a kindergarten faith when I should have graduated into a higher level long ago?
To be honest it scares me to death, but I know that this is my greatest responsibility. If I were to die with nothing to my name and with no one knowing me, but I raised children that loved Jesus then my life would be a success. But if I were to live a life of worldly success and left with my children in the dark for their eternity I would be a failure.
Now, I’m not naive enough to think there won’t be bumps along the road as she gets older. I know that she will not like me most days and that I will embarrass her. I realize that she may want me to drop her off down the block so she won’t be seen with me. I know that having a dad as a pastor won’t always be a “cool thing” to her, but without question she will know she is loved by me. She will know that God loves her. She will know that I can’t wait to see her grow into the woman of God she was destined to be.
I know God does the saving, but I need to be doing the exampling.
My prayer is simple yet powerful:
“God help my daughter see You in me today so that one day I might see You in her.”