Two years ago, with our elder daughter about to go off to university for the first time, my husband and I had the idea of setting up a support network locally for Christian parents in a similar situation. As a close family we had some mixed feelings about the forthcoming transition – surely other parents must be feeling similarly? With the aim of meeting up a couple of times a term to discuss topics of mutual concern, to offer information and encouragement and to pray for our students, we publicised the group among the local churches in our area. And so the One More Step network was born.
For the last two years there have been opportunities to meet up, and we have had great conversations with those who have come along. We’ve also had great conversations with others who haven’t been able to come along to the meetings, and as finding the right day and time for everyone has proved challenging, we’ve now decided to widen it out by means of a blog, so that this can morph into a supportive online community.
We took the One More Step title for the group from the Sydney Carter song that we remember from our younger days – it may now sound a bit cheesy, but it sums up God’s journeying with us every step of the way: “and it’s from the old I travel to the new, keep me travelling along with you”. As parents we have been travelling with our children for the last 18+ years, and now all of a sudden it’s time for them to travel “from the old things to the new”. God travels along with our offspring, and indeed is already travelling ahead of them too. And for those of us still at home – well God will be with us too, helping us to readjust, to cope with the changed family dynamics, and to reconnect with our offspring as and when we are able.
My intention is to put up regular posts focussing on different topics that we might face as parents of students either starting or returning to university or indeed applying for university. It would be great to start discussions on how we support our students, thereby supporting each other at this time of transition.
Over the next few weeks our attention will be particularly on our younger daughter, currently awaiting her A Level results. Maybe your son or daughter is awaiting exam results. What are your feelings in this waiting period?