Today, my youngest daughter, Maddie, started a new school in a new town with new teachers and new fears. All of it is new. She has never been in this school before. In fact, she has never had to go it alone (i.e. without her sister and brother).
So, to help with the transition, we arrived a half an hour early so that we could set up her locker and practice navigating the middle school hallways, student-free. When we opened her locker, I was overtaken with that all familiar sense of sadness. The cause? Maddie had put a picture of Makenzie on the inside of the door. Suddenly and again, from deep down, I began weeping silently. Maddie didn’t see it. I’ve gotten good at hiding it. Besides, one site of daddy’s tears would cause her, then me, to begin sobbing uncontrollably. Neither one of us needed that on the first day of school.
As I drove away, it dawned on me that that picture represented much more than the loss of Makenzie. That 3×5 photo in the locker stood for the massive transition that our family is experiencing and the aspects of our old life that we miss: the loving teachers at LSA; the joy of seeing friends again after a long summer; the excitement of hearing about the excitement of the first day of school. It’s really different and somewhat scary. Change usually is.
But at the risk of sounding spiritual, I say this … isn’t it great to know that God never changes? When my life feels out of control and I don’t know if this afternoon will bring tragedy or triumph, God is my Rock and a safe place to hide. Let the locker picture shout it’s remembrances. Let it mock our new normal. I choose to trust my God who is the same; yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:7-9).
life changing links: