A Year Later . . .

| by Shannon Williams

One week from today, Jeff and I will pick up our oldest son from his first year at college. 

Turns out, you were right. 

He has had a great year and life for the rest of the family went on—mostly without feeling all that different. 

When I wrote about Devin’s upcoming graduation a year ago and shared my unease with the pending transition, many of you reached out to encourage me. You told me that even though sending a child to college is hard, it is also rewarding. You told me that the relationships between parents and adult children are different, but wonderful. You told me that God would protect my heart and his. Yep, you nailed it. I learned there is true wisdom that comes from experience. and I thank you all for sharing your wisdom with me. 

Not only did Devin excel academically, but he did a great job being his own CEO. He took care of himself, his business, his relationships with professors and roommates, his laundry (even when he brought it home, he did it himself!), his travel arrangements, his faith, his life. He embraced his independence and he handled it with maturity. 

And yes, it was fun to watch! While a year ago, I was clinging to memories of little Devin, now I can see how Devin’s entire journey worked together to prepare him for his independence, and I am grateful. I am grateful for the family members, friends, teachers, and coaches who played a part in shaping and preparing Devin for life on his own. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, he is still a work in progress—aren’t we all. But, he took a big step this year and now I am no longer uneasy about the next step. I am excited for him and proud of him—just like I was with all the other milestones that led up to graduation last year. I guess you could say that I matured over this past year myself! An old dog can learn a new trick. 

Next trick: getting used to having him home again. I think I am ready for that challenge. 

Special thanks to Kelley Elmore of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro who shared the message below with me about a month after Devin went to college. I referred to it many times throughout the year. Thank you, Kelley!  Know that God is holding Devin close every moment of the day - guiding his steps, giving him the wisdom and strength he needs… Just as He is holding you close every moment of the day.

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