A lot has happened in these past three years, much of it very good. My favorite part, as I've often shared, has been being available for my daughter. I'm here most mornings when she leaves for school and most afternoons when she comes home. But as she heads into the second half of her junior year in high school, it's becoming unavoidably clear that this little ritual that I love will soon become obsolete.
I've been thinking a lot about this next change that's coming. As the talk about college becomes less abstract and more specific, I can't deny that the independence we've raised her to embrace is just around the corner.
It's easy to live in fear. Fear that the money won't last. Fear that I won't be able to keep up with the rising costs of insurance, tuition, retirement. Fears too frightening to give voice to.
Three years ago, I faced a lot of these same fears. They were much more crippling then, perhaps because I was doing something outside the norm, stepping out onto a precipice. But they're equally terrifying now because it's my daughter who's taking those steps, and she's nearly ready to let go of my hand.
Fortunately, it's hard to live in fear while simultaneously trusting that God's got this. And though I lacked that certainty when I wrote my letter, I became more sure of it as I took those first steps. I forget sometimes, and I falter, but most of the time, I believe what a friend of mine said when he was going through some employment uncertainty of his own: "I figure he hasn't brought me this far to abandon me now."
When I took my first tentative steps, I had no idea I'd end up where I am now. Though spending time on my writing was part of the plan, teaching at the college level was beyond the horizon. And it's just as well, because if I'd known, perhaps I wouldn't have been able to fully appreciate the time I did spend with writing at the top of my list.
My daughter's horizon lies ahead, and none of us can see beyond it, at least not now. And while I'll always have my hand outstretched in case she needs it, I don't really have to worry if she lets go.
God's got this.