She’s wearing dresses again. I didn’t think we would ever get past the jeans and t-shirt phase.

My girl stands in front of me swinging half circles while watching the skirt dance on her thighs and asks if I think it needs ironing. The favorite skirt she selects from the heap at the bottom of her closet, with all the other clothes she tried on yesterday. I tell her, if it were me wearing the skirt, I would iron it.

“Well, then that means I need to iron it,” she decides, stopping to pull the zipper down.

It’s been a while since she ironed. About as long ago as the last time she wanted to wear a dress to school. .  . and take my advice about wrinkled clothes.

As she slides the ironing board down, plugs in the iron, she smiles over a recollection. Crouches down to show me how small she was when she learned to navigate an iron without burning herself the first time.

“Remember how I used to iron Daddy’s shirts,” she asks. “I think he paid me fifty cents for each one.” A little girl who earns money by ironing, to buy the next Littlest Pet Shop creature to add to her collection.

I do remember. Like it was yesterday.

My husband reminded me of the ironing phase the other day, when I admitted that I worry about missing teaching opportunities with my girl. That maybe I need to be more intentional about teaching her how to cook. Cook chicken, not chocolate chip cookies.

Only three summers left before she flies out of the nest. And I quiver among the what ifs. What if she is unprepared to spread her wings and glide?

And while she transforms from a girl into a woman, we slide into the age of the in-between together. The uncertain middle of what was and what is yet to be. 

When the hands that hold tight, loosen their grasp to let go.

When the eyes that rest on the familiar, widen to unknown vistas on the horizon.

When the mind sacrifices spinning questions to honor trust.

Complacency and fear wrestle with faith during the in-between seasons of transition. 

Because complacency, it can’t recognize the future and fear follows the crowd.

But faith, it lies down in the transformation of perspective that recognizes destiny when she arrives.

After she pulls on her black boots and tights under that skirt that inspires twirling pretty, she asks me if we can meet after school at the art store, get a coffee at Starbucks.  “Sure,” I say surprised.

Then I remember all those tearful prayers during the jeans and t-shirt phase.

Uncertain about the future? Do this:

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. They you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. ~Romans 12:2

Ever have a time when you felt stuck, uncertain about the future? How did you navigate that season?