Exactly a blink later, so it seems, we were singing a jazzed up Happy Birthday to you on Palm Sunday at 7:02 on your thirteenth birthday. Yeah, we completely forgot to sing it with your friends and family gathered around to celebrate you. You wanted home-made donuts so I mixed, rolled, cut out and we cooked up a hundred of them and friends and family surprised you and came to help you eat them all. Somehow all those people fit in our kitchen and living room and your Dad spoke words of praise for you and to your Creator and thanked family and friends for speaking words of truth into you and appealed to them to pray for you as you begin these years of becoming a young woman.
After the donuts had disappeared, friends and family had filled pages with words of love and encouragement from their heart, and they took reminders to pray for you, we counted down minutes and sang in celebration.
We blinked and I'm still learning to breath. It still hurts.
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father . . . that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:14,16-19)I beg prayers for you, cause I've learned I don't have the slightest idea of what I am doing. I hardly knew how to grow a child and I confess to you I have no clue how to raise a young woman.
Oh, it's true, I've read a lot. Ever since we stared stunned at the two stripes, listened in pre-natal class to learn how to properly breath a baby into the world, and checked on Google to see if I really was in labour a week early, I've read and read and read some more. Turns out I didn't really need pre-natal or to search the internet. You were coming whether Google said so or not and whether I was ready or not.
I've tried a slew of what some claim to be tried and true methods of children rearing, sleep training, ways to grow children. Dabbled in some of it, but thankfully didn't get sucked in and eventually tossed them aside. You and I didn't fit the mold. We didn't work well under strict, regimented rules. We cried together and even screamed and I should have known better. But, I didn't.
We've locked horns and I've had to pick the hills to die on and you've stomped your feet and I've put my foot down. I expected perfection and we've cried together as we have grown to learn that peace is so much more precious.
I wanted an easy way to raise a perfect child. I learned that there is no easy and there is no perfect. How should a mother demand perfect when she is no where near it? But, until she's taken down a notch, she might be blinded to see what she really needs. What her children really need.
We needed grace and love. And to be granted wisdom.
"And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." ( Colossians 1:9-10)I'll be the first to admit that I don't know what I am doing as we venture into the years ahead. But, I try not to depend on Google anymore, but turn to God first.
I worked hard the day you were born and the day you turned thirteen. But, I don't take any credit for the young woman you are becoming. God is working in you to bring you to completion.
"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)Not for my benefit, or even yours, but all for God's glory.
We both have a lot of growing to do, but I am thankful that I get to be your Mom. To watch you transform from a beautiful child to a beautiful young woman—and not because of the make-up you could hardly wait to get your hands on. I'm mesmerized how you care with tender heart. How you can laugh at your mistakes and cry with others who are hurting. The way you are learning to persevere when things are hard and help others even when this world tells us to help ourselves first.
And when you hugged your weary Mama the night you turned thirteen and you seemed to tower over me already as I still held you it my arms, I breathed with a sign of relief that God is growing us both in grace and He looks down on both of us and holds us in His loving embrace.
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)