Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good-Bye, Joy

I’ve known this day was coming for quite some time but I still can’t believe it is here. We will leave this morning to get Joy settled into her Freshman year at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA! It seems like just yesterday was the first word, first step, first day of kindergarten, first bra, first time driving, first date stage of life. But it all changes today.

As of today, my little Joy is a college student who is ready to be set free and fly. On one hand, I hate to let her go. But on the other hand, I am so excited I could bust. I know what my years at Liberty meant to me. I loved those years. They shaped so much of my life. During those four years I grew up. I got theologically trained! I caught a vision for ministry! And I found my life’s partner! I am who I am today and where I am today in large part due to my four years at Liberty. Now the same impact happens to Joy. Man, I love that!

She is the type of girl who will eat it up. She wanted to be in a dorm right in the middle of campus life. She could have roomed with girls she knew but instead she chose to let the Lord pick her roommates. I can’t wait to see how God uses the next four years in her life. She will be an education major. She wants to teach Middle School history when she graduates. In fact, she has even verbalized in the past a desire to teach in the inner city (does Lititz have an inner city?).

One thing that is weird is the reality of knowing that when Joy comes back she will be different and so will our relationship. I remember so desiring to come home for breaks when I was in college but after a few days at home, I couldn’t wait to get back to campus. College became home. College was where my life was. And so it will be the case with Joy. On one hand, that saddens me, but on the other hand, it really excites me because though I know our relationship will never be exactly what it used to be, I also know that it will be better in a whole new and wonderful way. I’m really looking forward to that!

My family will not be the only ones who miss her while she is away. Joy has touched many lives. One mother in our church recently wrote Joy this note:

“I just want to wish you the best as you head off to Liberty…I know that you will make a great impact on the Liberty campus just as you made a great impact here at Grace and LCS. I appreciated how you made (my daughter) feel special over the past year. Your kind and encouraging words and letters to her were appreciated by this mom! If she can find great “mentors” like you throughout her years, she will be greatly missed.”

Joy’s address at college will be as follows:

Joy Distler
LU Box 33545
Liberty University
PO Box 20,000
Lynchburg, VA 24506

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