Empty Nest Parenting

A Letter of Love For My College-Aged Daughters

Just the other day you packed up your belongings. I found you asleep, surrounded by your suitcases. I glanced at the boxes and clear plastic bins filled with your toiletries and school supplies.

I listened as you sang Jesus songs and yelled at the kneading cats.

Just the other day you packed up the car, fit everything just so.

Just the other day, I keyed the ignition to drive you towards your destiny while contemplating the cutting of our unseen cord: you, away from me.

But I can’t let it show.

I can’t fathom a heavenly King loves you better than I, that He’ll command angels concerning you faster than the whisper of a prayer.

I won’t understand the depth of His protection or how He’ll grace your footsteps.

Blank pages of your life story await. You’re about to pen a chapter not yet written, filled with details, adventure, and awe.  

You’ll find ‘just-right’ friends to divulge secrets to. You’ll feel the scorpion sting of fair-weather friends. But this is good, because it can only lead you towards true friends who love unconditionally, ones you’ll keep forever.

Daughter of mine, the faith you’ve tucked into your heart will be challenged and ridiculed by lofty and arrogant ideas. Ones formulated by finite minds and appealing philosophies.

You’ll be overwhelmed with academic requisites, but the exhilaration which comes with learning will far outweigh the workload.

And so, I pray the seeds of unseen faith will root deep when passionate ideals try to entrap you.

Many a Romeo will offer your hungry skin what’s delectable, but to fall into sin is to awaken to a heavy cloak of shame—daughter, your body and heart are worth far much more than fleeting moments.

May the Spirit of wisdom hover and whisper deep into your soul when you’re weak-willed and emotionally-hungry, yearning for what’s familiar.

Carnal and fallible will sometimes try to override what’s righteous, pure and true inside of you.

Daughter, will you cling to what is good?

Even so, foolish choices will sometimes be made.

Beautiful one, I made them too.

This is when you’ll realize:

Prudence is a golden, blessed key which unlocks sensible doors of peace and integrity.

I can only pray you’ll cling to the infinite truth which longs for the fidelity of your youth.

Daughter of mine, the cord which tied us together will shrivel and fall away.

You are growing exponentially—in all facets of life—I must understand this is part of life.

You’ll flourish into womanhood and become lovelier.

You’ll grow intellectually and be challenged by wonderful professors.

One teacher will steal your heart and earn your utmost respect and just like that, your life calling will fall into perfect place.

Right now, your empty bedroom holds the echo of your exuberance…traces of your laughter remain. A small pile of dirty laundry carries the essence of who you are and I don’t care to wash it.

Daughter of mine, I’m struggling.

But you? You are ready.

Your heart.

Your mind.

Your spirit and soul.

The inner and outer of what makes you beautifully you, is ready.

The days will shorten. Leaves will crinkle and turn mahogany brown. Ice wind will whip around my ankles and try to haunt my heart with the loneliness of not seeing or hearing you or holding you.

Daughter of mine.

I must trust that the King who holds my heart …

will simultaneously hold your hand.


Photo by Brandi Redd on Unsplash

Photo by Mi PHAM on Unsplash

Photo by delfi de la Rua on Unsplash



  • ed
    12 months ago

    beautiful, the laundry line brought me to tears … <3

    • Carmen
      12 months ago

      Blessings follow us through His Peace! Mi Familia <3

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