It seems that September is a big month for launching or being launched. A number of our young people are leaving home for the first time. You are moving out of your parent’s home and making your own space, defining who you are, what you do…on your own terms. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. Some people are starting new schools, and they wonder, “What will my profs/teachers be like? How hard will I have to work? Can I do this?” And that’s true for whether you are launching into first year university or a new high school or even kindergarten!
And then there are the people who are doing the launching. When students leave home, or head off on big far-away adventures, parents get a curious empty feeling. There is a feeling of satisfaction; you raise children, after all, to become independent, and when they are launched, you realize you have done a good job. But there is sadness too, not just for parents, but for friends and other family members, as the person you’ve seen every day now becomes a person you see once in a while. Primary relationships are beginning to morph into secondary relationships. Launching is a bittersweet time.
When it comes down to it, launching is something you have to weather right from the get-go. Whether it’s leaving your baby for the first time with a babysitter, or leaving your child crying in a preschool, or looking scared on their first day of kindergarten, space in relationships is something we negotiate, all the way up until the baby you held in your arms moves into their own home.
For young adults, launching into your new life, you need to establish your own relationship with God. When you live at home, becoming part of a church community can be something that happens by default. Now you have to decide…is Jesus someone I want to get to know? Is Christian community something necessary in my life?
Prayer: God, you are in the spaces between us. Your love binds us together, whether we are close at hand, or separated by many miles. Be with people this week who are experiencing heavy weather in September, the launching month. Be the North Star that sets our course.