To All My Mama Friends Whose Babies are Far Away Today,

I feel like we belong to some sort of club. As I’ve watched you post pictures of your goodbyes the past few weeks, I’ve cried with you. I’ve been there. I AM there.

I spent three years saying goodbye to our eldest as she studied at Westmont College in California. Watching siblings hug and kiss and cry. Rip. My. Heart. Out!

Less than three weeks ago, I said goodbye (again) to our second daughter, Hannah — she’s studying at Pepperdine, also in California. I miss her. Her little brothers miss her.

This brother misses Hannah a TON when she's far away.

This brother misses Hannah a TON when she’s far away.

These goodbyes have become part of our normal around here, but they’re still hard. So hard. I get that pit in my stomach, that lump in my throat, those tears that I can’t contain.

I hate saying goodbye.

Saying goodbye to these precious daughters is so difficult to do.

Saying goodbye to these precious daughters is so difficult to do.

Yesterday I got a call from Hannah. She’s sick. All I could do was pray with her over the phone, assure her that we’d continue to pray for her throughout the day, tell her I love her and remind her to stay hydrated. Last year she got the flu and had to be taken to the hospital, suffering from severe dehydration, so that’s always on my mind when she gets sick. Before she had been diagnosed (last year), docs were concerned about meningitis, so they did a spinal tap. She called. Scared (mostly because she knew it would hurt). She cried. I cried. There was absolutely nothing I could do but pray. That far away felt even farther away!

Last night she texted to say she had passed out and the school called an ambulance. Paramedics mentioned meningitis and whisked her away to the hospital. Here I am again…3 states and 18 hours away. Unable to do much. Hannah was scared about the possibility of another spinal tap.

Docs discovered pretty quickly that she has an infection that’s easy to treat and “flu-like symptoms”. The rest of her blood work came back clean, so she didn’t have to have another spinal tap. *high kick*

I hate saying goodbye. I also hate not being able to be there for my sick daughter. For the first 18 years of her life, I was the one who was up in the night with her, comforting her, cleaning up her messes, giving her medicine, praying with her. Now I can only lie here in my bed, waiting for the next text or phone call of information, praying that the Lord will somehow comfort her when I can’t.

You know what I’ve learned? He does.

Rest assured of that today, Mamas. He’s got our babies who are far away. They may be sick, they may be healthy, they may be struggling, they may be full of excitement, they may be making poor decisions, they may be making wise decisions, they may be sad, they may be light-hearted, they may feel lonely, they may feel loved. Whatever they’re feeling, whatever they’re experiencing, whatever they’re going through, they are not alone. The Lord is with them. He’s on their side. He will fight for them. Rest in that, sweet Mama friends whose babies are far away today.