They're Gone Before You Know It


John Fuller shares the experience of seeing his daughter leave home to enter the real world.


It is happening again! I’m saying goodbye to yet another one.

We’ve been through this drill twice already—sending a child off into the world. We know it is a good thing. Dena and I have raised our children to leave the home. It’s what adults do; it’s what parenting is all about. Still, each time we do this, I get caught up in the emotion of seeing that young adult head off solo. There’s a passage here, and it affects us… me, very deeply. 

Honestly? I’m a bit tearful as I write this. Our oldest daughter, Allie, is on the eve of leaving the country. For Scotland. With a one-way ticket. We don’t really know when she might be back. 

Please understand that we’re thrilled for Allie! To go abroad and serve has been her passionate pursuit for a couple of years. God has led her to volunteer at a great Christian camp, and she will do well there. It is in her sweet spot, her gifting. It’ll be great!

We helped her get to this point in the great adventure. Taught her much. Prayed a lot. Invested time. Trained her from toddlerhood. Cried for and with her. Gave ourselves to the task of preparing her for adulthood. And now… now Allie is an adult and heading away from home. She and God are walking down a path of fellowship (and joys and trials) and growing closer than ever.

Mission accomplished!

Still …


The wonderful memories, the times of laughter and fun, the satisfaction of a new skill learned, the moments of just being together… it has all been so good! And the time has absolutely flown by.

I remember so clearly the joy that accompanied her birth almost 19 years ago—at home!—and the early days of having a little girl. Allie seemed so different than her older brothers (and still is!). Delicate and wonderfully verbose, she stole my heart as a toddler. In elementary school she showed a creative bent and artistic ability that remain to this day.

In middle school she grew in her love for God. The high school years contained much emotion and more growth toward adulthood. She learned to serve others, plugged into the worship team at church, loved life in the Rockies with hiking and camping. Over the years, she’s grown from precious little bundle to confident young woman. And now, in a matter of hours, she is leaving.

I am amazed by who this young lady has become, and profoundly grateful that Dena and I could play a part in her growth. I’m also deeply mindful that Allie still looks up to me, that she’s a daddy’s girl, and that those are gifts from God.

Although we’ll be separated by an ocean, we’ll certainly stay in touch. Technology will make that pretty easy. Still, I’m going to miss her goodnight hugs, the little notes we’ve exchanged through the years, the smiles we’ve enjoyed. But that is part of growing up, it is what we’ve aimed for as parents, and I’ll roll with it. 

So here’s to “Blink.”  Here’s to the seasons of life that include launching our adult children into the world.

And here’s to a little girl who has my heart!  I’ll be praying a lot for Allie in the coming days.

Now, can someone please pass me a tissue?


This post was written by John Fuller.

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