The day was creeping up behind me far too quickly. She would soon board the plane, without me, as she would embark on a new adventure all her own.

I watched as she shoved her sweats into the bag. I noticed my clothes were peaking out, along with my boots and make up. She knew I noticed, but nothing needed to be said. I was more than happy to send little tokens that would remind her of my love.

Realizing her bag was billowing, and refusing to close, she reached for another. It would be interesting to follow her as she made her way to the gate. I wonder if her heart will drop when she realizes her dad won't be there to reach over to relieve her burden, making her load lighter. I don't ask.

In my heart I have a suitcase of secrets. This suitcase is full of tears I want to cry. It is filled with  words I want to say, telling her how I already feel a hole in my life, just by thinking of her being away. There are so many questions of what it would be like for me with her away. This suitcase is heavy, full of ways to bring her down, much too heavy to burden my daughter with.

Instead of handing her yet another load to carry, I handed her a gift that would hopefully stay with her through her days away. I silenced my weeping heart that would have weighed her down with guilt for leaving. I held back the tears, and replaced them with a smile. I traded my thoughts of sadness and concern for words of excitement and encouragement. My suitcase is mine. No matter how real its contents are, it belongs to me. This is the baggage that my Lord and I will sort through. She was never meant to have to carry my weaknesses. I went against my heart, as I wanted to do something for hers.

Sending her off with cheers, confidence and laughter, gave her not only freedom from guilt and worry, but wrapped her in strength. My eyes would tell her that I believe in her, and will be home rejoicing over her.

My gift would not need to be searched, checked in, or carried on the plane. Yet, this invisible package would be with her, making her adventure light. It was bought with a price, but the blessing for her would be of far greater value. My life, for hers.