It has been about nine months - two semesters - a lifetime - since Hannah stood on the steps of Wright Hall with her dad (I was taking the photo.) She was just embarking on her first year at Southern. There have been so many changes, and she has grown so much in this short time; but so have I. Hannah and I have always been best of friends, not just mother/daughter. So I have to remember that when she calls and she unloads some of her challenges, it isn't always to receive just the "right" answer, but sometimes just to talk through situations and events. I have learned to take a more passive role in the decision making, and just let her talk through her thoughts and come to her own "right" answer. But it hasn't just been me backing off, Hannah has had to take up the slack and be more active in owning her decisions, which she has done. I think we all (Hannah and parents) have been quite balanced in our approach to this process, but only because the Lord is faithful to help us. There is a transition phase that encompasses years, but recognizing it as a transition helps maintain a balance. For us (parents) to back off before the student is ready leaves a void that can be potentially filled with many wrong choices and dangerous pitfalls. But to hang on too long leaves the student crippled and dependent. I know the process is not complete - there are still years to go - but this first year has been a giant step forward and an amazing journey. In my next post I will summarize some of the many ups, and a couple downs, of this trek into Hannah's adult life at Southern.