Sowing in tears.

A letter to all the mamas sending kids off to college.

Dear precious friend and mama,

I see you.  In the aisles of Target conversing with your daughter as she pleads with you to buy her that frivolous fuzzy pillow, that designer comforter and every “dorm room must have” on the end caps throughout the store.

I see you.  In the aisles of Bed, Bath, and Beyond dragging your son through the store urging him to get serious about what his dorm room will require—besides a GIANT SCREEN TV and GAMING SYSTEM.

I see you.  In your quietest moments when you are saying goodnight to your child, silently counting how many more days or hours until that bed will be empty.

I see you.  Making dozens of “last suppers” comprising every favorite meal your child ever had since birth because they’ll soon be vanquished by dorm food.

I see you.  Cherishing each conversation, interaction and even—argument, for fear you’ll never speak to them again…save for once a week on FaceTime.

I see you.  Kneeling on bedroom floors amidst piles of books, clothes, suitcases, plastic containers of all sizes, and college “necessities”, trying to figure out how you’ll ever fit their life in 240 square feet.

I see you.  At church when the tears softly make their way down your cheek during worship. Or in the car alone, when your thoughts finally catch up to your heart, and the tears erupt like a volcano.

I see you after the drop off, when you’re in the car, or on a plane heading home—minus one critical part of what you no longer feel like is a whole.

I see you weeping.

And I feel you.

Because I am you.

We are on the brink of that fateful 7.5 hour drive to deliver our daughter to college.  It’s our second foray into these intermingled waters of dread and joy.

And it’s not one lick easier than the first time.

She’s leaving.

And with her…another piece of my heart.

There is a passage in the Bible that says,

“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”   Psalm 126:5-6

In this Psalm, the Israelites implore God to restore their fortunes and bring back their joy. The entirety of the Psalm is written with a confident tone. As in, we totally know you can and will do this God!  They weren’t wondering if, they were thanking him in advance for when he would bring joy from the tears.  These verses are filled with hope, as they claim his provision for them in their darkest times.

In other words, even though we are sad, dear mamas, we will deliver these kids to college, through our tears, just as mamas have done for centuries before us.

But those very same tears are the essential, life-giving, water for the seeds that we’ve been sowing for 18+ years.

And as our sons and daughters grow and blossom and change and morph into the very people we’ve prayed all these years they’d become, we will walk forth with joy!  And there will be a bountiful harvest.

Because we’ve done our job.  Even amidst our tears.

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{Photo courtesy of freeimages.com @spydermurp}

Sarah Beckman inspires people from the stage and on the page. She is the bestselling author of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial, which is filled with practical tools to love people well in the rough patches of life. Sarah speaks to audiences across the country on topics such as loving your neighbor, sharing your faith, safeguarding your marriage and digging up your talents.

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3 thoughts on “Sowing in tears.

    • Oh Don! You are so right. It’s just as hard for Dads and I see you too! Sorry if I discounted that fact in this article, but I appreciate all you do as dads as well! God bless.