On September 11, 2001, Arielle, at three years old, began her education at a Christian school nearby. Just minutes later, on a TV in K-Mart, Fred and I watched in horror what happened that day. I remember my strong impulse to just go and retrieve our little daughter from school, so she would be safe with us while the world was out of control. We did not. But we circled her school, which remained quiet and peaceful, as the radio news station reported the disaster.
For that one year Arielle proudly rode in the front seat of her daddy's pick-up truck (strapped in her carseat) as he drove her to school each day. She loved it, and young as she was, she still has vivid memories of that fun year. She has always been bold and confident, never clinging to mommy and never homesick. She was always ready for a new adventure.
Early this morning Arielle got in the front seat of the car with Fred (no carseat) as he drove her to church to meet up with others for a two hour trip to serve with an organization that sends supplies overseas to schools and orphanages in impoverished areas. Today they will pack seeds to send to Gambia. Arielle is excited to go. She still loves an adventure, and she has a serving heart for others. It is hard to let her go, not just today, but as she gradually leaves her family and sets off in the world. She wants to visit missionaries and care for needy people, already planning a trip to Spain in her senior year.
I have to let go and I have to learn to trust. Trust her--and I do more and more as I see her maturity and wisdom. And trust God. He showed me years ago that she is the "apple of his eye." He loves her even more than I love her! Amazing. I know God has great plans and purpose for her life. He chose her from the ends of the earth and graciously gave her to us for a season. But she is his and not ours.