This week my oldest baby started middle school. I did my best to choke back my fears, to not let my doe-eyed preteen see the terror swimming in my eyes. I’m not an overly protective mother. I’ve never helicoptered around, but this. This was just about too much, even for me. Her back pack is bigger than she is, for crying out loud! I did my best to coo and soothe her nervousness. She wondered if she’d find any of her friends, or if she’d be able to find her way around. I wondered if children the size of Matt would steal her lunch money. I wondered if she’d see and hear things that would make the devil blush.
As Matt and I flanked Charis down the walkway, I stared down each hormone raging child in nearly adult bodies, wondering which one of these evil spawns I’d have to put in his or her place next week. The truth is, I wanted to run away. I wanted to scoop up my tiny treasure and just run as far away as I could, keeping her from the frightful unknown.
We paused to say our good-byes. She still wanted a hug and kiss on the lips. Both of us were shaking, one out of excitement, one out of fright. As she turned away from me, I was certain I just sent my lamb into a lion’s den.
Then, out of the crowd emerged Love clothed as another pint sized preteen. This girl wrapped her arms around Charis and embraced her. With an arm around Charis, and without a backwards glance, Love escorted my baby into the crowd.
In that moment, I burst into tears, because Love reminded me that everything I’ve been learning to believe is true. We are not alone. We are protected. We are Loved. We live in a beautiful world where like attract like, where light chases the darkness away. We live in a world where Love casts out all fear.
And the more we keep our minds on these pure things, lovely things, good things, like a magnet, the more these things will show up in our lives.
That afternoon I was met with a glowing face. I heard all about the rude 7th and 8th graders who cuss a lot. I heard about how she got lost. I heard about how she was overwhelmed at lunch trying to find a place to eat. But I also her about how she used her highlighted map to find her way. I heard how she found her best friend in the crowd and now they have a daily meeting spot. I heard about how much she loved her new teachers, and couldn’t wait to go back.
I heard a story of hope, life, and growing up.
And at the end of the day, no matter what growing pains we may encounter along the way, I know everything is going to be ok.
And LOVE WINS.