She was just two, but she found those shoes irresistible, all lined up in the hallway, one colorful pair after another: heels, flats, sandals. Heels were her favorite. She’d put them on, clomping around in those too-big-for-her shoes.
Years later, as my dear friend Heather tells it, this youngest of her two daughters still enjoys heels and fashion, especially bridal attire. So much so that during her gap year (You know that year between high school graduation and the start of college), she managed to secure a coveted position at a stylish bridal boutique in the city. Her talent and ability to connect with the bride’s vision for her big day made this a joy-filled year.
But this extra year, with her youngest under her roof, came as a surprise initially. Like me, Heather had thought her daughter would go straight to college after her high school graduation.
Even so, Heather looks back on this year as a gift – a gift of time, of connecting daily with the heart of her youngest, of learning how to come along side her daughter, supporting her dreams and vision for the future.
When I ask how she managed that, how she walked a new path with her daughter, one that Heather hadn’t envisioned, she’s thoughtful.
“Sometimes supporting their dreams means being quiet, allowing them to explore and make their own choices. And standing by them with an attitude of: Ok, this is your choice. Let’s do this!”
It strikes me that this kind of love, the kind that walks an unknown future with our kids-becoming-adults, requires a deep faith – a faith that allows us to confidently release our daughters, our sons, to the dreams God’s placed in their hearts.
Like those shoes that once captivated her toddler-daughter, life’s opportunities sometimes require a trying on before we can know if they fit. Allowing our adult-children the freedom to explore the unexpected opportunities offered them, takes a brave and generous heart, one that’s willing to do the hard letting go.
This is something my friend Heather has done so well, and with heaping measures of grace.
Heather confides, “The thing is, I know I can lean on God. He knows what is hard for me. And I trust Him to provide me with the strength and wisdom I need.”
I have found this to be true in my own unnesting experience. Many times, in this journey, I have approached His throne, desperate for wisdom and strength. And He has faithfully provided. Often, it has been His grace and mercy that have carried me, as I’ve fumbled through some of the more difficult moments.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.Hebrews 4:16.