We met when I was just nineteen years old. I was barely out of high school. A newly married woman, and you came into my life. I was a confident girl for my age, born into a family of 11 kids. I was loved lavishly and taught how to care for others because I was an aunt almost at birth. I listened to my older siblings and sought out advice on numerous life events. Admittedly, I believed I had my life together. I thought I was an exceptionally mature young woman who could handle anything that came my way. Then you came into my life and you taught me more about myself and more about the world. I quickly learned that it was better for me to humble myself than to suffer through life’s struggles alone. Now, as a middle aged woman I can look back at the past twenty five years and ponder the remarkable way I have been blessed by you.
You are and always have been very different from me, yet I am drawn to you because of those differences. Your creativity taught me to step outside of my own box, my box, the one I put myself in. I thought there was just one way to look at life, until I met you. I became more comfortable being who God created me to be. Sometimes that means I’m just a silly mom singing made up songs that don’t make sense with a little dance on the side. Other times it means that I get in the kitchen and try out a new recipe or set my sewing machine up and create something. I appreciate the artistic side of people so much more because of your artistic abilities.
You taught me compassion. I saw you reach out to people over and over again that were not accepted by the community that we engaged in. You saw their potential, similar to how Jesus see’s our potential and seeks us out. You made people feel comfortable and better about themselves because you accepted them, similar to how Jesus accepts us just the way we are.
You taught me to persevere. You are not a quitter and because I’ve had the pleasure of knowing you, I’ve gotten to see how you persevered through many testy events. I’ve always been a fighter, but seeing your strong character in action created an even stronger will in me. I’m not a quitter, quite likely because of you. I’ve persevered through some events that I would have never chosen to go through. The death of my parents, a divorce and several moves weren’t the ideal plan. I’m stronger now and I’m not afraid of adversity because I didn’t give in to the temptation of quitting. At the time, growing pains were not convenient, but my heart has grown stronger and wiser because of that pain.
You have high expectations for yourself. I’ve learned that it’s ok to give myself a break by watching how you are at times too hard on yourself. I’ve pushed myself plenty of times because I wanted you to be proud of me. You always seem to know what you want and you make a plan to be successful in that. When it doesn’t go perfectly, you adjust your plan a bit.
I’ve learned to love with an unconditional love because of you. I have the kind of love for you that I don’t have to work hard to muster up, the kind that just exists powerfully. My daughter, who was given to me so young, you have changed my life in so many ways. When I look at you I cannot help but see in just a small way how the Lord must look at me. I am fully accepted, fully loved and fully equipped. You are a reminder that I belong to someone else. It’s been many years since I lost my parents. Parents are significant and influential in whom we become. Although, I’ve experienced more of my life without my parents than with them, I have a deep sense that I am not alone. I’ve had the Lord to guide me, whisper to me and even stop me at pivotal times in my life. My life is different because of divine intervening. Your life is different because of how the Lord changed me.
I’m delighted to be your Mother. I’m happy to be your friend. I’m thrilled that I’ve had meaningful, consistent learning experiences since the day we met. You have been instrumental in shaping my character.
You make me proud!!