• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
on figuring out the next steps. . .

on figuring out the next steps. . .

Madeline is deep into the college search process. . . and it has been revealing in a lot of ways that we didn’t expect. She narrowed things down relatively easily – schools she had visited or where people she respected went to – half colleges, half universities. She wants to do political science and pre-med. She wants places with diversity and strong global studies programs. She wants somewhere that she can see stars. She has gotten into 5 and we are waiting to hear from 3 more.  She has walked through the process with decisiveness and responsibility and with beautifully open hands. . .looking for Guidance and direction in every step.

            As we walk through these steps, it has also revealed a lot about my heart and my desires for this beautiful girl that we love so much.  I want opportunities to be open for her despite how unusual our life is. I want impossibly open doors – but I want them to close decisively if she will not thrive there. I want her to find somewhere where she will be mentored, where she will laugh, where she will be be able to explore, where she will find like minded people that strengthen and deepen her sense of justice and wonder and her faith. I want her to be challenged and supported, to be pushed and to be held.

            As she works on choosing her next place, I can’t help but think how formative Furman was for me and how specifically I felt guided there – the same for David. The shadow of its impact deepens the colors of Madeline’s search, and I find myself in constant prayer, searching and pleading, breathing and holding my breath. In 8 short months, we send our daughter across the globe and out of our house. . . and we walk each day wondering where and how that place will shape our daughter’s life. 

In the meantime, she is counting down lasts, preparing for her Model UN debates and building memories with friends. She is giving lots of hugs, adding to her dorm wish list, doing lots of AP homework, and sprinting in from field hockey practice or band practice every evening. We live straddled between now and then, between one-day-at-a-time and preparing for the end of the year, absorbing information and learning to trust our now adult daughter.

This season is wonderful and bewildering, faith building and rocking, full of questions and subtle but important answers. A gift of knowing and becoming.