This was a year and a half ago when we were together in Cambodia. She presented a paper at the History of Medicine in Southeast Asia conference in Siem Reap. I took this photo a few hours before she spoke to an audience of mostly history scholars and medical students from all over SEA. I remember that morning so clearly as I sat there in awe, gratefulness and wonder at this young adult who was my daughter. Today she flew out on her own for both study and some much deserved leisure time. How quickly time has flown. I’m always grateful to be able to invest and build memories with both my children. For now, at this point in my life as a single parent, they are my world. Such is the paradox of parenting — we nurture them well when they are young, so that when they are old enough and strong enough to fly out on their own, we let them go. We let them go and test their wings and follow them wherever they are with our love and prayers. 

My daughter is now exactly half my age. Our prayer as parents is that they become much better people than we were. That life will be kinder to them. That they make much better decisions than we did. 

In a few years my nest will be empty. Who knows what chapter God will lead me to then? What new doors will open? The end of one chapter naturally heralds the start of another. New locations, new characters, new storylines perhaps? Having experienced so many endings, I’ve never been afraid of starting over, or shied away from new beginnings. Staying open, and embracing change makes it less fearful when we keep Him at the center of our lives. God has been my constant all throughout. We entrust our children to Him, and we entrust our lives to Him come what may.

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