Full but Empty

My heart is so full! My oldest daughter has begun an exciting new chapter in her life. We dropped her off on Monday (2 days ago) at Western Kentucky University for her Freshman year. This puts her about 2 and a half hours from home. And, yet, my heart is full. I know. I’m as confused about this as you are!

You see, I thought drop off day would be horribly emotional. I mean, I kinda like this girl, and we have lived together, vacationed together, laughed together, and cried together for the last 18 years or so. So, as one who wears his heart on his sleeve, I expected to cry when I helped one of my favorite people in the world leave my house. But, it just didn’t happen.

Drop off day, could not have gone any better. God outdid Himself on Monday. He knew EXACTLY what we needed on that day, and he hit it out of the park! Once she got her dorm key from the off-campus location, we drove to her dorm with 2 SUV’s full of her stuff. When we arrived at the access road that would allow us to pull to the curb to start unloading, there was a WKUPD Sergeant blocking the access road to any thru traffic. When I rolled my window down, I realized this is the ONLY officer that I personally know from WKUPD. We attended a three-week Academy of Police Supervision class together where we actually stayed in the same dorm for those three weeks. I haven’t talked to him, outside of Facebook, in probably eight years. However, he greeted me by name when I pulled up to drop my baby girl off on his campus. Well done, God!

When we parked at the curb in the “unloading zone” we were greeted by an army of faculty and students who unloaded our cars for us and put everything into giant boxes on wheels that they pushed up to her room for us. I fully expected to make 6-7 trips carrying her things up to her room. But, by the time my wife and I parked the cars in a parking lot across the street, everything was in Grace’s room, and the big boxes were gone to help another student. AMAZING!!

After we unpacked in the dorm room, the 4 Harveys and the 4 Carpers (Grace’s AWESOME roommate) all circled up, joined hands, and all 4 parents prayed over the dorm room and the girls. It was a powerful, peace-giving moment that I didn’t know I needed. We then all went out to an early dinner. When We dropped Grace back off at her dorm, we all got hugs told her we loved her, and we left without any tears! God was giving extra helpings of peace that day, for sure! And, for the 2 and a half hour ride home, there were no tears.

So, my heart is FULL because Grace is going to do awesome things in Bowling Green! I have watched her change lives here in Central Kentucky, and it only seems right to watch her prepared and excited to share this same love with Western Kentucky! God has her EXACTLY where he needs her for such a time as this, and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold! Monday was awesome!

Tuesday and today have been harder. Because, as full as my heart is…it also feels emptier. And, my house reminds me of this emptiness.

When I walk by her room, this is what I see:

To be fair, Grace has never been a Bed-Maker. I make my bed every morning because my OCD side likes it that way. However, I never fought this battle with my girls. There are things we WILL fight over. An unmade bed is just NOT one of those things. That being said, I told her, “before you leave for college, I want you to make your bed”. I was thinking it would make her room look more presentable. I didn’t realize that it would, actually, make her room look sadder than I thought possible. That bed hasn’t been made consistently in 18 years, because most nights, Grace was going to crawl back into it and sleep in my house. Now that it is made, it is a constant reminder that she is sleeping somewhere else now. And, sadly, her nights in this bed are numbered.

Please don’t misunderstand me. This is EXACTLY how I want it to be. She is doing what she is SUPPOSED to be doing! I am SO proud of the woman she has become. She is so much more mature in her faith than I ever was at 18! And, she is going to do AMAZING things! She just won’t do them in my house, and I feel like I lost my Front Row seat to the Grace Harvey show. But, rest assured, my sweet girl, that though I may not be in the front row, I am still LOVING the show that God orchestrated for you before he gave you to me! And, if you listen closely, you will hear me cheering from my seat in Nicholasville! The show must go on! Break a leg, sweet girl!