Catching Feelings

This week. What.a.week. Lots of things that made me laugh, smile, cry, cry again and again and again. But mostly made me think.

If you could hit rewind on my heart to 2 years ago, so many things would be different. My girl comfortably in her last years of elementary school. Still my little girl. My boy comfortably smack in the middle of high school (you know, just far enough from graduation that I could pretend it was in the distance). A handful of close friends who defined ride or die. It was a comfortable place. So comfortable that I decided to try something new and lead the high school girls from church.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I had convinced myself that I could be good for these girls. That my experiences, my past, my life could help them navigate years that are weird and sometimes hard and confusing and fun. But I never considered that they’d be good for me. I never considered that my heart needed them probably more than they needed me.

Over the last 2 years, the completely unexpected and unplanned happened. In the midst of losing one of those close ride or die friends, a few girls grabbed pieces of my heart. Over the last 2 years we’ve laughed together. We’ve cried together. We’ve questioned life together. We’ve prayed together. We’ve gone to concerts together. We’ve danced together. We’ve baked together. We’ve eaten A LOT of food together. Life. We’ve done life together.

This last week of telling these 3 girls goodbye has been hard on my heart. But so fulfilling, too. I know they have such big things ahead. I know the moving out and moving away is the next right thing. And I know they’ll be back. Family dinners, chocolate chip waffles & Jenga for days when breaks happen!

There’s also been something about these goodbyes that’s forced me to realize that a new year is starting. A year that makes my first born a SENIOR in high school. That makes me realize the next round of goodbyes will mean the biggest part of my heart yet will leave the dirty 8-30 to go out into the big old world. The tears my “baby” has shed the last 2 years during these goodbyes will be nothing like the ones I’ll dry next year. When she tells them all goodbye and also moves into the upside down world of middle school.

Today, I’ll let myself cry. Because good Lord these girls made me catch big feelings! Today I’ll let my heart be sad that goodbyes are a thing. Why can’t they all just stay!? And we’ve got some big lasts coming up in our house. Jesus, take the wheel because we all know I shouldn’t steer this ship!

But tomorrow? Look out, people. This will be a year of making everything big. And everything special. And seizing every moment. And saying YES a lot to the things that make my people smile.

Paige, Martie, Taylor – I love you BIG. Payne, Addi – let’s do life BIG this year! Friends, say a prayer for Chad. He has to handle this hot mess this year. Also, I’ll gladly accept all donations of whatever drink you deem appropriate for Senior year of high school.

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