I know that they will be just fine.
At the same time I was getting them ready for this new part of growing up, God was asking me to let go even more. Let me explain....
Our church has been working with another church in Kampala,Uganda for the past few years and they have recently asked for us to send a short term missions group their way in December. Pippin has always thought it would be an incredible experience to participate with a missions outreach and has told me for a good 5 years now that Africa is the place that really calls to her heart.
You can imagine the things that hit me as I thought it all through. I wrestled with vague pieces of information that I had heard on the news about Africa.....violence, disease, and malnutrition to name a few. I knew for a fact that things can happen anywhere. The girls can get hurt jumping on the trampoline in our backyard much less be halfway around the world. I can't protect them from everything. My life long job has been to equip them. But the other voice in my head was laughing at me, telling me I was a fool to entertain the idea of sending my young 17 year old naive girl into THAT. I fought panic for quite a while.
Then, through a series of amazing circumstances, the pastor of the Kampala church was in town and we were able to get together for a meeting. He answered many questions for me about the area and what the team will be encountering.
Civil unrest? Absolutely not. That is much further north.
Wild and fierce animals? No, there will be no safari side trips.
The clincher for me was when a friend prayed with me for guidance and peace about the whole idea. She shared with me a picture that came into her mind while we were praying. It was a picture of a beautiful little bird in a nest looking out at the world around. This little bird, always respectful and attentive, flapped her wings and said, "How about now Mama? Am I ready to try and fly now?"
That picture was not shared as a tool of manipulation. (It is okay if you believe different than I do.) For me, I believe that God can speak to us in visions and that vision went right through to my heart. Instantly I wanted to cry out, "What more do you want from me? I have done everything you asked. I schooled them like you wanted. Now I am sending them to school and trusting You to care for them even though there will be times when I know they will be hurt and uncomfortable because it is part of growing. How much more do you want me to let go?!"
As soon as I thought it, I knew the answer. He can't guide them if I don't fully let go. He can't protect them and shape them if I don't take my hand off of the steering wheel.
So, my Pippin is signed up to go on the missions trip to Uganda for 2 weeks in December. Now that I have let go, I am actually excited for her. She is going to learn and see so much. It will be a life altering experience.
The next few months will be a lot of preparation as she gets a handle on school and works ahead in her studies. There are lots of things to think about with supplies to be packed and clothes to be made. Paying for the trip will be a daunting task since we have nothing extra to play with. Pippin and I are working up a sponsorship letter to send out to family and friends and we know that if God wants this then He will provide the means.
Kampala, Uganda, Africa......I never would have thought it part of our happenings.
I am so excited!