What all have I forgotten to tell you?

Now then, you my little girl fly the nest. It’s earlier than expected but nothing you do or are capable of should surprise me. I do wonder as I imagine not being at arms length for every decision and hiccup, have I told you everything you need to know? 

You should keep emergency supplies in your trunk. Don’t eat too much fast food. Things like that. Then I realize, you have that stuff, what do I really want you to know.

Do you know that your family HAS you? It doesn’t matter how far we are. If you need us, we will climb over the ocean to find you. Do you know that every moment you think of us, we will have have thought of you 1000 times. Do you know that I have been thinking of and praying for this moment since God put you in my arms 17 years ago? Did you know that I have had thousands of conversations with you since you were tiny so that in this moment you would know just how ready you are? Did you know that 99% of being ready to leave home is belief in your ability to navigate very simple things? Did you know that I believe you are 100% capable to do this and do it well? Do you know that God will work out the details, like really, the tiny details? Do you trust Him? Do you know that the God who causes the sun to rise is watching you rise, everyday? He thinks you’re beautiful. Do you know that you are a treasure and worth being protected? Do you know that the right guys will protect you too. Do you know that you will have hard days and then they will pass? Do you know that you will have amazing days and they will pass too? Do you know that some connection to others will be hard fought for and will be fruitful? Do you know that some connection to others will be hard fought for and will bear NO fruit? Do you know that any connection made to God will bear fruit in your life for all eternity? Do you know that I love the smallest and biggest things about you? Do you know that your face still gets soft and warm like a toasted marshmallow when you sleep? Do you know that for years every morning when I got you out of your crib, I loved and kissed those warm cheeks? Do you know that when you were 5 you could wake up and get ready for school by yourself? Do you know that every adult who has gotten to know you, tells me they see something uniquely deep and beautiful in you? Do you know that you will make mistakes, fall down, get hurt, and get broken? Do you know that you can do hard things? Do you know you can be happy and enjoy easy things too? Do you know that you will never be defined by your accomplishments? Do you know that you are so much more than your GPA? Do you know that on the other side of your worst failure is Jesus? Do you know that most trite sayings are true? Do you know that it’s not how many times you fail, but how many times you get back up? Do you know that 1oz of discipline is more valuable than pounds of charisma? Do you know that integrity > emotion? Do you know that every part of my body has dreaded this moment and yet always been so excited for you to have it? 

Now, lock your doors at night. Don’t walk outside barefoot in winter. Back to the stuff in your trunk, you need a blanket, water, and flashlight. Give more than you take. Meet with Jesus everyday and you’ll never be lonely or lost. Do your dishes and take out the trash. Tell people when you are not OK. Some days you won’t be OK. Drink water and take your vitamins. Eat protein and love your body and heart like I have. Do yoga and watch the sunrise. Choose things that bring you life and reject things that take it away, those things are usually small.

Know this. Every moment of raising you, my precious, has been my joy. You have loved your brother, sister, dad and me with passion and grace. You have raised us well and we will be ok. You taught us how to put each other first and how to pay prices for each other. You have loved Levi and Lydia so beautifully and they are more whole because of you. You have loved your dad and I so beautifully and we are more whole because of it. Lydia and Levi will never forget devotions with you. They will never forget how you chose them. Neither will I. Thank you for falling into my arms for the last 17 years and allowing me to hold you. Never forget that we are your crew and we are walking with you, even when you can’t see us. You are NEVER alone in any fight, you roll 5 deep. 

Do you know that neither height, nor depth, nor anything in God’s creation can separate you from God’s love in Christ Jesus?

If you know that, you have all you need. 

I am 100% sure. 

4 thoughts on “What all have I forgotten to tell you?

  1. Rachel, what a beautifully written tribute. There is no doubt that Anna knows she is well-loved, and is thus full of giving love, as well.
    It’s a privilege to have had a ringside seat to your family dynamics that exude God’s love for each other. Some of that rubbed off on me! 😉💞

  2. oh Rachel, this is so beautiful. I wish I would have taken time to write to my daughter when she went off to college. I’m going to show this to her now, even though she’s already graduated. 🙂 Thank you for putting words to my emotions.

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