As this morning we set off as a family to see off our eldest daughter as she embarks upon a TWAM (Youth With A Mission) 'Year For God' (YFG). The surprise when she came back from New Wine last year and told us she was thinking of taking a year out and doing 'something' was increased when she decided that this was what it was going to be. But here we are, she's raised money towards it (about half) and been inoculated against most of the diseases I've heard of and has packed, re-packed and then packed again to get everything into her bergen and we are ready for the off.
Yesterday, as I looked at photographs of her steering the boat as a really tiny thing through to the latest images of a grown woman I couldn't help but feel a pang of sorrow that our first born was to fly the nest. I know it had to happen some day, but surely fifty is a good age for that :-)
So here I sit thinking about the journey to Heathrow with the words of Psalm 121 banging in my head and resounding in my heart as the prayer I will be praying for her and those she works with:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you-the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm-he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.