Firm Footing

May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. ~David

In the dim light and sleepy-ness of the before-dawn day, we hugged and said goodbye, not sure when he’d return. I remember his baseball cap slightly askew and his antsy departure. Gone six months now, he’s embracing his adventure and loving life. I’m proud of him.

The old, slightly run-down, Dairy Queen served as a strange backdrop as we said goodbye. Because of work and flight schedules, we couldn’t take her to the airport so instead, we stood on the asphalt and embraced and cried (well, I cried). Now she’s 3500 miles away, speaking a different language, experiencing a new family and finishing her degree. I’m proud of her.

We packed his car and in the dark, rainy night, said goodbye. He wanted to go alone; it’s his journey. He’s not there yet– to his final destination. Traveling the familiar highway through Nebraska, he’s over halfway to his home for the next eight months. I’m proud of him.

Although the setting was different, we said goodbye to each child the same way: huddled as a family, heads leaning in, petitioning the same God. We pray for safety. We pray for direction. We pray for blessing both for them and those they meet. But mostly, we pray the same prayer that David prayed: May your gracious Spirit, God, lead them forward on a firm footing.

I took two leaves out of the dining room table after a weekend of company, and realized (yet again) that we won’t need that big table for many many months, serving as a tangible reminder of my changing family. And as the leaves fall from the trees and we experience the drift from summer to fall, I try to embrace this changing season of life.

And the prayer remains the same: May your gracious Spirit, Lord, lead us forward on a firm footing.

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