Saturday, January 08, 2011

Pepperdine University at Malibu, California, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States. We were leaving our daughter there. Her brother would follow in two years. She, along with two other girls from our home congregation were enrolling there. One of them was going to be her roommate. She was happy to be there. We were happy for her.

I had the first panic attack of my life that night after we left them there. We were with our dearest friends who were also leaving a daughter there. Our friends had taken us to Malibu in their camper and we spent the night in it up the California coast from Malibu. We were in great spirits. We were going to get up the next morning and go to church together which was one of our favorite things to do.

I woke up abruptly sometime during the night! I was sweating and filled with anxiety. I felt like I would scream if I didn't get out of that camper---which I did as quickly as I could. We had pulled onto the back parking lot of the church where we planned to attend in the morning. I walked around on the parking lot in the dark trying to "collect" myself." Since we were on the coast it was chilly outside but I was hot and bothered!

The Psalmist asked, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?" He asked the identical question three times in Psalms 42 and 43. I asked myself that question many times that dark night on the California coast.

I've learned over the years that periods when we are "disquieted" and "cast down" are part of the natural rhythm of life. The tides rise and they fall, the tides go out and they come back. We have moments of exhilaration and moments of depression. No person lives on a perfectly even keel. The stress of having my first born leave home for the first time was taking its toll on my nerves.

The Psalmist advises, "Hope thou in God." When Jesus received word that John the Baptist had been murdered  Matthew 14:23 says, "...he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone."

I prayed a lot that dark night and "came to my senses." In the morning I went to church and "the tide came in."


Loren said...

Amen to this Clif! No one lives continually on an even keel for sure! Praise God for when we are tossed to and fro by our own emotions HE remains the same, loving us and being patient while we "come to our senses"

With my daughter months away from leaving home for college I am feeling that anxiousness at times and know that it is only through Christ that I will be able to let her go and walk in HIS Peace...one day at a time.

Have a blessed weekend

angelonwheels said...

You gave me a piece of heaven today. Thank you! Your transparency is refreshing!

Dianne said...

Hey Clif,
I love this. The day we left our firstborn at college in Missouri and started the three hour drive home to OK, I cried all the way. My husband tried to console me a little but seemed just a little amused.

When we got home and he walked in the bathroom that he shared with our sons and our oldest one's towel was not hanging on the towel rack, he broke down--

Yes, life gets to us at the oddest times but I too talk to my soul a lot just as David did and thank God the tide always comes in.

Beautiful post.


Lisa notes... said...

I've heard Pepperdine is so beautiful. It is a hard feeling when a child leaves home. Only the Lord can really heal our anxiety--I'm still praying he works on me to heal all of mine. I love quoting that scripture to myself in those dark moments of the night. Thanks for sharing your story.

micey said...

i've experienced this too. thanks to you and charlotte for all your love and support!

Whidbey Woman said...

Clif, This post was so well-written. You took me back in time and I felt like I was right there with you in the parking lot. Very descriptive and heart-felt. Bless you.

Donnie said...

All the changes in life are scary but doors we have to walk through. I'm glad your tide came back in for many it never does. Have a blessed Sunday.

Crystal Mary said...

Hello Clif, I think your first child is the one that seems to tear you up the most, with each of their new experiences. I know this was so for myself. It is also wonderful for me as a woman who grew up without a father and one who was both parents to her own children, to see a man care. You are the second blog I have visited today and seen this. May God bless your father caring heart. My daughter recently gave me 'Experiencing Fathers Embrace' a book to help me comprhend this.
Your children were very blessed to have you as their daddy.

Kaye Swain - SandwichINK said...

Thank you for a very interesting and encouraging post. I know this feeling so well, myself! Like you, I find the only real solution is time with God - lots of prayer combined with digging into the many encouraging Bible verses I've underlined, listening to comforting praise and worship music, or, if I'm on the run, listening to one of the verse by verse Bible studies on my iPod. Such encouragement. Have a blessed Sunday!

Joan said...

Clif - very good post. It's true we have ups and downs (those who say they are never down, deceive themselves). I love the analogy of the tide coming in.


Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

This is so true the tides come and go.It is truly a blessing that we have the Lord in our life when the tide does come.

Saleslady371 said...

You are such a precious father.

Renee said...

The love you have for your children comes through! I remember when our oldest left home for college, I cried all the way home from leaving here there, and cried for a week solid after. So difficult! By the time our seventh child left home, I was calm about it :)....Thanks for sharing, it brought up old memories for me to smile about.

Anita Johnson said...

I felt the same way when we dropped our kids off at Wheaton College in Illinois...then I passed the school's motto carved into the wall, "For Christ and His Kingdom". A good reminder for parents about Who really is in charge!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Dear Clif,
I felt the same way when my second son went away to Bible College on the other side of the country. Just three months before that, my oldest son had gotten married. Then the following August, my youngest went off to university 2000 miles away. Since all three of my sons left home within the year, it took some getting used to for sure. But God worked it all out and filled the void with Himself and sent others my way to minister to. My job as a stay-at-home mom was over but He still had work for me to do. And to my surprise, He still does! Thanks for a wonderful post.