Written August 21, 2011
Last Sunday was a very emotional Sunday for me. It was my daughter Rachel’s last Sunday at before she moved off to college. She is only an hour away, but we knew that things would never be the same.
It hit me like a tons of bricks. Out of nowhere the tears came. I suddenly remembered the Sundays of her squirming, and my trying to teach her how to sit in “big church”. Remember that I am a preacher’s wife, so whatever my kids did, all got to see. When Robert was youth minister at Halls First Baptist Church, he was in charge of the children’s sermon. He would gather them around down in front of the congregation, I distinctly remember one Sunday when Rachel was around four, she took her spot beside dad, sitting on the edge of the stage. I was in the choir and what Robert couldn’t see was her opening her purse and lining up her pound puppies and kittens on the “In Remembrance of Me”table. (All Baptist churches have one of those.) He never even saw them.
I remember when she walked the aisle at only six years old. She knew exactly what she was doing and in Whom she believed. Shortly after that, Robert got to baptize her. I remember watching her perform in many children’s musicals and growing in her love for Jesus. Once, during one of the musicals at Thompson Station Church, she surprised me when she was Mary and came out holding a baby Jesus. At that time, she was close to what the real Mary’s age must have been. It was hard to imagine the mother of Jesus being so young and having such a tremendous job.
As we moved into the high school years, she began to work in the nursery, telling me that she knew that her ministry involved children. Watching my baby take care of babies was a moment I will never forget. Through years of loving on kids through Vacation Bible School and nursery, she has made an impact. We have three precious little girls in our life. As Rachel was getting ready to go to our car that last Sunday, the oldest, Angelique, told Rachel that she had asked Jesus into her heart. This answered more prayers than Angelique can imagine.
Now this Sunday, Rachel is gone. But there are no tears. Today I sit beside Hannah my youngest daughter with Angelique by her side. It’s the end of the service and here they go, down the aisle. Hannah goes with Angelique for “security”. I hang on to her little friend, situating her so she can see. Many tears are shed in the crowd, but not by me. My heart is just so full of joy.
Today I celebrate these moments in life that cannot be matched by anything else. I thank God for every Sunday School teacher, choir leader, Vacation Bible School teacher, children’s minister and youth minister who has invested time and poured Jesus into Rachel and Hannah. This is one example of how these dedicated workers touch more than just one generation.
I thank God that I have had Rachel for eighteen years. I look forward to seeing God’s plan for her unfold in years to come. So letting go is hard, but not as hard as I thought it might be. At our house we are too blessed to be sad.