If you are a football fan like me (and if you’re not I really cannot understand why not, except maybe you were raised by monkeys on a deserted tropical island), you know that many cheers start off with:
And then the cheerleaders initiate various chants and cheers, working the crowd into a frenzy. (Depends on how well your team is doing that year, so some years fans aren’t quite as enthusiastic, I know). I’m always ready when the head cheerleader yells that out to the crowd – always.
But sometimes I’m not ready.
Take for example the first weekend in June. I flew to New York City with my 21 year old daughter because she was getting ready to start a 7 week internship there this summer. Neither of us had ever been to New York, so if you think this momma was going to put her baby on a plane by herself and hope she just figured out the city that never sleeps all alone you are sadly mistaken. I had to check things out for myself before I left her alone in one the largest cities in the world.
Fortunately one of my BFFs used to live and work in NYC and was able to meet us there and give us the ultimate tour. We went to fantastic restaurants. We saw the Lion King on Broadway and spent time in Central Park. We shopped, walked and ate our way through the city in 4 short days. I’m still 3 pounds heavier because of everything I ate there. But it was so worth it…
All was well until Monday morning, the day I was to leave my daughter alone in New York and fly home. I woke up before her and tried to have my quiet time, but tears kept dripping on my iPad and the sobs I attempted to choke down eventually woke up my sleeping child. I wasn’t ready.
Slowly but surely I got myself together. We got up, went and ate breakfast together and then it was time to say goodbye. I had played this moment out in my head a million times. I had been praying about it and asked friends to pray for me. I didn’t want the last picture of me in her head to be one of bloodshot eyes with black mascara running down my face and uncontrollable babbling of how much I loved her and have fun but be careful and don’t do ANYTHING with anyone you don’t know and always know where your purse is and…
And I still wasn’t ready.
But then it happened. The peace which transcends all understanding invaded my spirit and set me free. As the cab driver put my suitcase in the cab, I gave her a hug (I think it was pretty low key – I didn’t grab onto her clothing or beg her to come with me or anything) and got into my cab. As I drove away I looked out the back window and caught a glimpse of my strong, independent child with her beautiful blonde hair slightly blowing in a breeze hailing a cab to head over to what would be her home for the next 7 weeks, looking every bit the confident young woman she had become.
I thanked Jesus for the wonderful weekend we spent together and prayed for her, all the while trusting that He loves her more than me, that He would watch over her while I could not. As I made our way to the airport I truly felt Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Prayer works. My prayers and the prayers of my friends lifted me out of the pit of worry and anxiety to a place of peace and trust. I want to encourage you to pray about that area of anxiety in your life today. The peace may not be instantaneous, but it will come. And then, like me, you will say,
I am ready.