I can remember my anger like it was yesterday. It happened 29 years ago, and yet I can still see myself yelling, stomping and slamming a bedroom door.

I was a junior in high school and a boy invited me to visit him at his college two hours from our hometown.

We weren’t dating. We were just friends and he thought I’d have fun touring the university and experiencing college life.

Unfortunately, my dad also thought I’d have fun. Too much fun.

My dad said no.

I was shocked. Total disbelief. No? What do you mean, No? I’m going off to college soon anyway, so whatever will happen now is bound to happen then. I was angry that my father didn’t trust me. I was wounded that he would think I wouldn’t make good decisions.

This all came back to me yesterday when a friend asked my opinion on letting her daughter hop on an airplane to see a guy at a college ten states away.

My immediate reaction was to petition for my former 17-year-old self. “Oh my gosh! How fun! Let her go. She’ll be fine.”

As we talked more about the timeline, the people involved and the situations my friend’s daughter might unexpectedly find herself in, I realized the difficulty of my dad’s decision.

And of the decisions God makes for us every day.

As parents we want to delight our kids. We want to give them their hearts’ desires.

But we also know what they can handle right now and what they will be able to handle more appropriately in a few more days, months, or years.

It’s why we must wait for the soulmate, the job promotion, and a whole lot of other things. Because God knows what we can best build on now and what requires us to have a few more tools in our pouches.

I’m not sure what my friend will decide about her daughter’s trip. Only she knows what’s best for her family.

This is what I know about being in God’s family: He’s a good Father who wants to give us our hearts’ desires. He’s a great Father because sometimes He knows enough not to.