I just received a phone call I had been waiting for. My beautiful 16 year old daughter on the other end of the line declaring, “I got it! I have my passport in my hand!” “Awesome, see you later this evening” I gave her as I got off the line before the lump in my throat became obvious to her… that and to also not wind up with teary eyes while at the office.
I haven’t written on here about her upcoming exploits, or her mother and my excitement/trepidation. You see in 5 very short days we will be dropping her off so that she can embark upon the adventure of her life, to beautiful… sunny… Haiti… Yes. We are sending our 16 year old, very American teen girl to Haiti… with the hope she comes back with her heart completely broken and her life forever changed. This is what we have been raising her for. It’s what she’s been working so hard for. And it’s almost time to let her go.
I can’t explain the vast amount of mixed emotions. It’s like my heart is raging. I am so excited for her. I’m also excited that the bake sales, car washes, and fundraisers are done… for now… I’m so honored as a father that my little girl, instead of the usual summertime teenage girl activities has a heart to go and serve in such a dark place. I’m so amazed by a God who has blessed me with children who love to love, mostly despite my parenting abilities instead of because of them. I’m nervous because I know what she’ll see and experience, and yes because of the endless possibilities, but only slightly. I know she is in good hands. As a father though, good hands aren’t exactly outweighed in my heart by miles and miles of ocean. I’m saddened because I know how much she will hurt inside at not only what she sees, but the longing she will experience upon her return to the day to day, but joyful for the same reason. I want her heart broken for the lost, the dying, the hurting, and the poor. I want nothing more for my beautiful princess to develop the heart of a servant and long for service instead of date nights and teenage escapades. I want the same for my child as my Heavenly Father wants for me… and for you… to be burdened for redemption and reconciliation of the world back to the Father.
Even now as I type these words tears overtake me.
I don’t expect this one trip to do ALL of that… but I do suspect this will be a definitive marker in her life. A time where as she tells of others what brought her to the place she is in God, she will be able to point back to and say.. I remember when I was 16 years old working with Haitian orphans…