My husband and I are very recent (as in one month) empty nesters, and so, as many new empty nesters do, we decided to take a trip to mourn celebrate this new phase of life. We chose to travel to Arizona to visit my parents for a few days, but we took a brief detour to visit the Grand Canyon. I had never been to the Grand Canyon before, so I was naturally amazed by the beauty I experienced there.
On our first night we decided to experience the sunset because so many people had told us how special it was. And they were right!
We were blown away by the colors reflected on the canyon walls—pinks, purples, and blues in varying shades. As we sat for about an hour waiting for the magic moment when the sun would descend over the horizon, we thrilled at the many changes we noticed on the canyon below, even after the sun had set.
The next morning, because our time at the Grand Canyon was so limited, we decided to get up early to see the sun rise. Again, the colors were truly amazing, but this time they were different—reds, oranges, yellows—against the rocks below us. Every few minutes the colors changed, ever so slightly, as the sun began to rise.
Talk about beauty! I was so overcome by the sunrise that I couldn’t hold back the tears. God’s power, his goodness, his deep love for his creation were so evident to me in that moment.
All week long I thought about the sunrise and the sunset that I had witnessed at the Grand Canyon. I thought about how the colors changed, slightly, yet constantly. I thought about how no two sunsets or sunrises are the same—every day must bring different colors or variations depending on the weather that day. But no matter the weather, it’s all beautiful because that’s just how God created it.
As I reflected on the changing colors over the Grand Canyon, I thought about the changing phases of our children’s lives as well and how parenting our kids during various stages brings different “colors”—different challenges, depending on their situation—but how it’s all a beautiful picture of God’s power, goodness, and love for our children.
Remember that opinionated toddler? She’s learning to express herself, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Remember that elementary school child running toward her friends (and away from you)? She’s learning how to love others, and that’s beautiful too.
Those challenging junior high years? Even those years make our daughters beautiful as they learn to cling to their truest friend, Jesus.
And now, my daughters are all in various stages of young adulthood, each one heading toward goals they have set, and this, too, is a beautiful thing as they learn independence and trust in God.
Mamas, I want to encourage you today to see all the stages of your daughters’ lives as one big, beautiful journey toward discovering the women they will someday become. God is in it, and He has already created them amazingly beautiful. Each mountain they overcome, each valley they have to journey through, each canyon some may cross, all are a part of God’s plan for your child.
And each stage of the journey is beautiful.