We’ve never launched a kid before…
This weekend Linda and I will move our firstborn down to Southern California. She will turn 20 in a few months and has been planning for this day over the past year. While she doesn’t have a job secured yet, she has saved up her money and has a few months before she will have to find another place to live.
For those who haven’t launched a kid – they scoff and say, “It’s no worries; she’s ready; she’ll be fine.” Others grimace and put their hand on our shoulder promising to pray for her in the coming days. Since I haven’t done this before I don’t know how to feel or what this will be like.
The one thing I do know is that this journey of launching is all about trusting Jesus. While we can make a long list of things that might go wrong, or scary facets of relocating in a city you know nothing about, the truth is that we are not just dropping our daughter off alone. She and Jesus will be living there together.
As I think about moving my daughter’s stuff into this house, I will also try to remember that Jesus is moving in too. Fortunately he doesn’t have any boxes for us to move because we probably would be short on space for His stuff. This whole transition is a trust-building exercise that will help my bride and I grow in our ability to trust that the Lord is good at guarding, guiding, and helping His kids. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows how to care for His sheep. Rehearsing that truth helps me find peace.
One of the first things we will do is attend church with Katherine and her new roommate on Sunday morning. We believe that to become the person God has destined you to be, you must walk in community with other Jesus followers. While it is important to us that she grows in her faith by hearing good Bible teaching, it is equally important that she finds a place where she will have other mothers and fathers in her life speaking in and helping her grow. I am praying that the Lord will highlight her to a few people in that area who will love her well.
It is amazing to me how much our culture downplays the role of the local church. Many have reduced following Jesus to hearing a good message on a podcast, hearing some good worship music on YouTube and occasionally talking about Jesus over coffee with a friend. The church is supposed to be a family, a safe place, a place where you can give your life away to others and be a part of building the Kingdom in a larger context. I am glad to know that our daughter understands the importance of being a part of a church family, and showing up often. The presence of the local church gives us peace as we launch Katherine as well.
The role of the Holy Spirit is the third calming presence in this transition. Katherine hears the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to her and the Bible tells us that one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth. He is a teaching God who will answer when we ask questions and lead us when we feel lost. Jesus wants us to walk with Him and interact with him in a continual prayer flow, challenging us to think His thoughts and give our lives away. He will open up doors and lead our girl in the days ahead, and she will grow even more because of her need for clarity.
I don’t know what situation you are facing where it’s hard to trust God. You may have a health concern, or are getting used to a new job. There may be a new step parent in your life or a daunting project at work where you fear you will fail. It might be a new school you are going to, or a new phase in your child’s life that leaves you wondering how to be a parent. Jesus is constantly inviting us to come out and walk on the water. He is asking us to step out of the boat and trust that He won’t let us sink in the midst of the storms raging around us.
Whatever your situation is, remember that you are not alone. Jesus is going with you. His presence will begin to give you the peace you need to keep walking ahead.