Letters written from a momma to her two teenage daughters.
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Dear Lauren and Lydia,
I dream of a day when going to church on a Father’s Day will be about having a sermon directed to the fatherless. I know it’s shortsighted of me. I realize it’s self serving. If you had your dad today I probably would be just as oblivious as the next person. But I have to say it because this is our life. Our very real life.
I had kind of forgotten about it with the hoopla of an open house and 50th wedding anniversary yesterday. But today, sitting in church I realized that I was sitting by two girls (you two) who were listening to a typical Father’s Day sermon and I suddenly realized once again that you were enduring another Fatherless holiday. All I could think was …yuck, and then I began to pray for you. I know God is faithful.
I talked with both of you about it after church. Lauren you wanted me to be honored on both mom’s day and father’s day because I do both . How generous of you. Lydia…you felt a bit sucker punched by some of the talk today. It can’t help but take the wind out of you. I have certain days that take the wind out of me too. It’s ok.
We are not the only ones. Actually…I have a feeling there were people all over in churches around the world today who are fatherless feeling some of the same things we felt.
Which makes me wonder if instead of preaching to dad’s we should be instead preaching to those who are fatherless. The same thing on Mom’s day. Although I know dads and moms need to be preached to also.
I still have my dad. I want him to be honored on Father’s day. But girls…there are many, many people who are in the same boat with you, through death, jail, abandonment, or who knows what else they have no dad in the picture.
All I know is this…Jesus allows our hearts to break so that we in turn will notice others around us whose hearts are breaking too. No one understands quite how you feel unless they are fatherless too. I told you today…I can’t even understand as much as I love you because I still have my dad.
The Fatherless matter to God. In fact the bible says really quite little about dad’s and Father’s Day and all of that hoopla. But it says PLENTY about taking care of the Fatherless. You matter to God.
And loss just sucks. I’m not even going to make it sound lady like. It means that for the rest of your lives there will be days and moments that are empty.
The irony…I just led a program for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party, knowing full well that I will never have one of my own. Long after anybody would even remember my loss probably…I will still be feeling the ripples that come even decades later. So will you.
So…we rejoice with those who rejoice, we cry with those who cry and we try to notice others who are in pain as we sometimes are. We are not alone or unique in this.
We are loved. God is faithful and good. And all is well. But honestly…the day that a pastor preaches about the fatherless instead of preaching to the fathered on Father’s Day I will write him a personal thank you note. Looking at our culture…it’s surely about time the church makes this transition.
Just your momma’s two cents…for what they’re worth
Tonight I had the most fun with you sharing a bag of Dark Chocolate Dove candies. We actually figured out how many pieces were in the bag and counted out how much each of us could eat and be fair. To our surprise there were four more than the servings on the bag said there would be…bonus (We didn’t eat the whole bag tonight
We had a great time singing, telling about our recent dreams, laughing, telling stories, laughing some more and telling each other what our dove chocolate wrappers said.
I hope that some day when you’re grown we’ll still have dove chocolate nights once in a while. Times to just sit and remember and laugh and share and sing and laugh some more and bask in the glow that comes when eating chocolate with women
I’m finding that it doesn’t take much for me to enjoy my time with you two. We’ve traveled near and far, out of the country, taken cruises, etc. all good stuff. But honestly, some of the most precious moments to me are just the times when we sit at the table and just go wherever the conversation leads.
So Lauren…thanks for sharing your dream about flying
Lydia…thank you for sharing your story about Daisy.
And girls thank you for your lovely singing on “Break Through” that song will never be the same for me
I love you.
The last Dove chocolate that was opened by Lauren said…”Life is good”. I would have to agree .
Love your momma who loves you and hopes we’re always able to have some girl nights where we just sit and visit and eat chocolate for no good reason…just because
Last night you came to me and had such a deep, mature, well thought out truth you told me. You talked to me about how sometimes we notice people playing favorites, or we think they are but how if we focus on how somebody is loving somebody else than we aren’t judging their love for us very accurately. You understood that just because someone loves Lauren for example in a certain way doesn’t mean they will show their love for you in the same way and that doesn’t mean they love you any less.
I listened to you share and I realized you were speaking something really important. In fact, I called Lauren over to hear the same thing because that truth applies to all of us.
Sometimes we create grudges, or bad feelings in our own minds. We compare and feel that we come up short. We woman are bad at this…I know because I see how easily I can go there. Clearly, we can’t really get a good picture of what is truth…we are only basing our decision on what we can see. It’s not accurate. But for many people this is how they live their entire lives. A narrow way of always looking through their own eyes and choosing to live with hurt rather than to let go and decide that they might not be able to see things clearly.
I keep repeating the words from Bible study on Friday night to myself and to you guys. We don’t know the full story. We don’t know it about others so we can’t understand the decisions others make and we don’t even know it about ourselves. We are biased. We are not impartial when it comes to deciding who is right and who is wrong. That would require a neutral third party.
But…if we can accept that this is true about life than we can let go and live in peace no matter what happens. We stop striving for our rights and the way we want things to be. We stop comparing and expecting to be treated exactly the same as another person. We realize….we honestly are unique enough the same treatment for me as for you might not even make sense. We open ourselves to being loved in a way that is unique to us without competition or comparison.
Lydia…you will notice all your life that even God who shows no favoritism will seem at times to bless some people well while leaving others hanging. Surely His love is perfect. But there again, we don’t know the whole story and we have no idea what He is doing in other people’s lives. We don’t understand His ways and purposes. Anytime we think we do, we’ve created a God who is far too small. God does not answer to me or you. We wouldn’t want Him too. He is perfectly capable of running the world without our input . The fact that He choose to use us and include us is just pure grace.
Lydia…this insight in your life tonight was and is huge. It’s as if you just let go of your grip on fear. The fear that you might not be special or loved like you want to be. You decided that was not something that you had any business making a judgement on. Huge, my girlie! You’ve just opened yourself to receive love in new ways. Because when we walk into relationships with no preconceived notions about how things should be that’s when we receive. When we make expectations and demands and comparisons we can’t really soak in love, it may still be there but it just runs off of us. You’ve made a decision that you’re ready to let love soak in and ready to lay down your armor of self protection. Even if it might be a risk. I am incredibly proud of you and grateful for the work God is doing in your life. I’m trusting that He is going to love you well and surprise you with His goodness and care through the love of people around you.
It’s not easy coming behind other kids in the family…even if it’s just one. I know…I was fourth But I promise you…there is always enough love for one more. And you have a unique place to fill in this world.
Thank you for reminding me tonight of this truth as well. I needed it.
Love your momma who loves you fiercely and protectively and knows that my love for you is still small compared to the God of the Universe who created you.