When You’re Preparing to Send Your Kid Off To College

For the first time in our lives, Sherri and I are taking our children on college visits.

It’s a fun, exciting, intimidating, and interesting experience that marks a new season of life. It’s unknown territory.

It’s not necessarily that we don’t know what to expect when it comes to college campuses, dorm rooms, and community. We do. Although, I don’t remember having Starbucks on my campus. That sure would have been nice.

It’s the stuff of the heart I wasn’t expecting.

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Of course there are all the common perspectives like: “This is their time to enter into their own adventure,” “Now they spread their wings,” or “This is when they really learn about who they are.”

I get those statements.

The part I wasn’t expecting was how I find myself watching to see if he is really ready. I mean REALLY ready.

Is he asking all the right questions?

Does he really get what it means to be on his own?

Did I prepare him correctly and give him the skill and information to handle any situation?

The worse part is when something shows up in front of me and the voice in my head says I may not have covered that possibility in his training and now he might fall off the edge of the earth if I don’t get him into “shape for life.”

Honestly, I’m not good at letting go and allowing my kids to fail. I know it’s important to not be a helicopter parent, and I’m not. But I also don’t want to miss any situation where my children might get hurt or scared.

No parent wants their children to get hurt or scared but the college thing has brought out a new possibility of “danger.”

What if he needs me, and I’m a thousand miles away?

There will be people and resources he will have access to for help or guidance for sure, BUT they’re not me. I’m his dad. I know him. I get him. They can’t do what I can do…

Taylor Carroll

Yes, I know this is normal but it doesn’t mean I like it.

Scripture says to “train them up in the way they should go and they will not depart from it.”

I find myself questioning me, not the training.

Did I do my job?

My thoughts… I screwed up so much. I should have done this better. I want one more time or another chance to retrain him in this area so he doesn’t have to be unprepared.

Yet I can’t stop time and I can’t redo much of anything.

Panicking won’t help.

If a son saw his dad in a panic, that will go the wrong direction. Can you imagine if we thought God was in a panic? Not good.

The well-known Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways and He will make your path straight.”

My wife, Sherri, reminds me trust is about rest not necessarily letting go.

Meaning to trust is to rest yourself in God’s presence, sovereignty, and grace for you and your child.

I’m not good at this.

Is God for my son Taylor? Yes.
Does God know my heart for Taylor and his success? Yes.
Does God have dominion over Taylor and his life at college or whatever he chooses? Yes.
Can I rest in that? Yes.

Am I resting right now? Not really…

Visiting Carroll

So at this point I will try to rest more in the Holy Spirit’s work in Taylor and less about my own fears about what I did and didn’t do.

It’s hard to rest but we all need it for one thing or another…

Trust = Rest

Next question: How much does that school cost? Ugh…

Do you have any advice for us parents sending our oldest off to college this fall?

God is good all the time.

Peder