In August of 2006, I hugged my daughter, Jennifer, and drove away from the Biola University campus, leaving her to be "on her own" for the first time. The tears flowed from LA to Las Vegas, as I tried to deal with all the emotions a father has when realizing he is "losing" his little girl to adulthood. I wondered how she would do in college, how she would handle finances, how she would deal with boyfriends, and how she would do in her relationship with Christ.
Well, four years and ten months later, I watched her (via computer as I couldn't get time away from my present job) walk across the dais and receive her Bachelor of Arts. She is now a confident young woman who has grown in wisdom and beauty. As the diploma was placed in her hands, her many friends, mother, oldest brother, and God-parents cheered with enthusiasm.
Again, I found myself wiping away the tears. Thankfully I didn't have to drive anywhere, but this time I wasn't crying because I had "lost" my little girl, but because now my daughter is a devoted servant of the Living God who has a heart for those who are hurt and lost in this world. This is a great gain for God - and all the rest of us!
Now I know firsthand the deep sense of satisfaction expressed in the words the Apostle John wrote in his letter to Gaius (III John 1:4), "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." Way to go, Jennifer!