I have lot of little friends who are starting kindergarten this week and in many ways, I feel like one of them.
We smile knowingly when we see kindergarteners going off to school for the first time. They’ve got a wide-eyed look of uncertainty that is comically exaggerated by their oversized, lopsided backpacks. We smile knowingly because we’ve all be there and despite a possibly tentative start, everyone knows that Kindergarten is the best year of your schooling life! Mention the word “kindergarten” to any kid ages 7-18 and you’ll probably see an endearing smile spread across their face as they remember “the good ol’ days.” But do you remember that very first day? Having to say goodbye to your momma and feeling like you’re all on your own? It can be a very scary day.
A sweet kindergartener whom I know well wants to bring a picture of her family with her in her lunch box every day so that she can look at them while she eats! In the midst of change we all want to have something to remind us that the home and people that we love are not so far away. As we grow up we somehow forget what it’s like. We look back as adults and think it’s cute how nervous these little people are, because we’ve already walked through it and we know it’s awesome.
After going to school every September for 23 out of my 28 years of life, this September marks a new and sometimes scary change. I feel like a kindergartener all over again. I’m bravely waving goodbye to my parents and sisters as they all head back for the first day of school, and this is the first year that I’m not going with them. After all those years of school, it seems funny to think that now the scary change is the fact that I’m not going back to school. I love this new life in Texas. I love being married. I love this new season. I love the limitless possibilities. Romans 5 says, “ We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”
And yet sometimes, even though we know they’re such good, wonderful places, the wide-open spaces can seem a little scary. So this one’s for you my 5-year-old friends. This one’s for you my mother-of-5-year-old-friends. This one’s for you any friend who is facing something big a new. We’re gonna be okay. More than okay, we’re going to thrive. Let’s step out in faith. Let’s dwell on God’s words of hope and peace and carry them with us in our lunchboxes a reminder of our good Father and our home. Happy First Day of School and Happy New Beginnings! -Kate
(Two little kindergartners who might look familiar!)