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As You Say Goodbye

Mama, how are you feeling? In this season with the pandemic, some of the closing events of your daughter’s senior year may have been cancelled. You know the transition to college is creeping up. It seems like you have all the time in the world with your sweet baby girl and then, one day, you realize that she is not a baby anymore. She will always be your baby girl, but she is now a strong Godly woman that you raised. 

No matter how much you have prepared or not prepared for the moment to say goodbye to your daughter, goodbyes are the hardest. Here is some encouragement for you to hold on to during this transition period.

1. Mama, you have prepared for this moment.

I bet you can remember the first time holding her in your arms. Now, you are about to walk her into the next phase of life. Wow, time flies. Time always goes fast when you are having fun, but it seems to hit hyperdrive when your kids are about to go to college. Mama, remember that you have been preparing for this moment.

3 John 1:4 says “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.”

Have confidence in the fact that you raised your daughter in God’s Word. They know what you have taught them. They will do and be great for the kingdom of God.

2. Mama, stay present.

It is easy to get so drawn up in the fact that your baby girl is leaving that you only focus on the big event, and you start to miss all the little events in between. Be present. Check in to every moment because these moments with her are precious.Here are just some moments that you may encounter this summer to check in on:

  • She gets to meet her roommates! Be present for her as she talks about her new roommates, wants advice on how to live with new people, and wants to know the ins and outs of your experience with roommates.

  • Fixer Upper Time: College Edition! Be present for her when she starts to talk color schemes and wants to go shopping for dorm room decorations. I still remember my mom driving us to Canton First Monday Trade Days. I had no idea where we were going, but she described it as Etsy come to life. We had so much fun shopping, deciding what would be cute for my dorm at the time, and just spending time together. It is one of my favorite memories before starting college as a freshman. You are helping her build her “college home,” but remember her true home will always be where you are.

  • The rollercoaster of emotions! Be present when she is super excited and ready to move out this instant. Be present when fear sets in and she is nervous about her next steps in life.

Being present during the whole transition is the key. I love looking back on the memories of going on little coffee dates, décor shopping, and road tripping together up to college. Every part of the transition to college, my mom was there. I can tell you from a daughter’s perspective that it meant the world to me. Even when I was trying to act like I wasn’t nervous and even when I was super excited. Even when I had no idea what was going on, my mom was there every step of the way. She was present and I am so thankful for my mama’s presence.

3. Mama, you will always be mama.

On goodbye eve, aka the night before going to college, I remember cuddling up with my mama. I will always be my mama’s baby girl! We talked about what I was most afraid of and we talked about what I was most excited about. I look back on that moment as a now college graduate and I can’t help but smile. I remember vividly my mama praying over my fears, my hopes, my friends, my professors, my good days, my bad days, and my dreams. I am so thankful for my mama.Even if you don’t get the chance to pray over your daughter in her presence, pray over her. Write her letter about what you would want to know going into your first semester of college. Pray over her in a letter, speak God’s truth over her life, and shower her with your love. I promise it is something she will hold close and dear to her heart.Mama, know that you have raised your daughter well. You should be proud. This is the moment you have been working towards from the moment you knew you would be a mama. Mama, your presence means the world to her, whether she tells you now or years down the line. Your presence in this transition is something she will always remember and be thankful for. Mama, your prayer over her college life and the rest of her life means the world to her. Your daughter will cling to your words and the Word of God when she happy, sad, or anything in between. Your “goodbye eve” letter will mean the world to her. Good job, mama. If no one has told you lately, you did an amazing job. Remember your role isn’t over, you are taking the transition from teaching and coaching into being her biggest fan, her best friend, and her person. She will feel safe with you and be able to come to you for anything. You will always be mama. It is not goodbye, it’s just see you later.


Jillian Deaton has a passion for showing people the love of Christ through speaking, writing, and everyday life. She is the wife to second lieutenant Jaxson Deaton. Jillian is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University. She is the author of Powerfully Weak, This is Why, The Four Seasons of Hope, as well as the co-author of A Bigger Purpose. She is passionate about sharing God’s Word with students and women of all ages! She believes no matter who you are or where you’ve been the Word of God is relevant to your life as you strive to live with authentic faith in Christ. Connect with Jillian: Instagram