Dear Lauren and Lydia,
Lately I’ve been reading posts about advent…about longing. The fact that the world still longs for a Savior even today. Things are not right, not as they should be. Yes He came and yes we are saved…but we’re still here. And somewhere in that land of opposites lies a fairly hard life to walk through. Full of good days, bad days and lots of ordinary days that just blend into one another day after day.
I as your mom would like to think that in our home things are different. That I have created an open, loving space that is as close to heaven as possible. But regularly the rug is pulled out from underneath that notion. Heated words…unforgiveness…old hurts…bad habits…
I wait in longing…wanting better for you two. Wanting you to live in peace with one another to love one another, to put the other above yourself. And I am forced to look in the mirror at myself and wonder what example I’m setting for you. The apple never falls far from the tree after all.
We’re entering new waters all the time. Just when I think I understand a bit of parenting things change.
Last night a comment was made that just took the breath out of me and even now as I sit here typing it I am in tears. I debated about writing about it because there is no point in creating a guilt trip. This is not about guilt. This is not a momma trying to put a heavy load on your shoulders. This is about a momma recognizing with hands held up high that we on Elm St. are in desperate need of a Savior. This momma can’t do the saving…only He can.
The statement was made “I can’t wait to get away from this place.”
I have to tell you…it’s natural to feel that way. I felt it too. I’m comforted by this thought. That’s why I chose to go to Greenville college, 9 hours away from home. I felt this desperate need to get away, even though I was dating your dad and he had already asked me to marry him my senior year of high school. It was extremely hard to say goodbye to him and to date long distance…but I still left. I needed to. I’m not even sure all the reasons why. But I know I did.
So here’s the deal. I don’t want you to feel that way. It breaks my heart that we must go through this phase. But…there will be a point where you will need to be propelled with desire to leave. If you aren’t…you’ll never leave the nest. You’re becoming more independent by the day. Lauren I sense it strongly in you. You’re almost a Senior. I guess with homeschooling I’ve almost lost track of how soon you will be done with high school. I need to start thinking about senior pictures and open house and graduation and college choices for you and Holy Cow…I’m not sure I’m ready. But it’s not about me being ready is it? It’s about YOU. It must be about you.
So while it hurts…I wanted to create a little slice of heaven right here in our home… I can’t, it’s alright. I know this is all part of growing up.
And this morning I sit here feeling advent like never before because I feel the weight of this world and it’s failure to meet even our basic desires. It’s so far from home. I’m praying once again that Emmanuel will come and be God with us today and each day. Knowing that without Him…nothing matters…it’s all just filthy, dirty, ugly life without Him.
We are in the middle. We are not home.
I love you two. You are perfectly normal girls in the things you are experiencing…the ugly moments…I remember them in my home too. It’s ok. All I know to do is love you harder. And to let you go at the same time.
Silly stuff…for a long time now I’ve folded your clothes and just left them inside out if you put them in the laundry that way. I have a full life and it’s ridiculous that you don’t take the time to turn your clothes out the right way when they are washed. Today…I folded your clothes and turned them the right way. You probably wouldn’t even notice unless you read this…but it was a small act of sacrifice on my part.
That’s what us moms do. We take small moments daily and sacrifice because we love so deeply. We often forget what we even desire anymore because our desire becomes so strong for our children to feel joy and peace and to have their needs met.
It’s alright. This is not a guilt trip. This is not a momma who is laying it on thick, wanting something from you. This is a momma who is living very much in the middle ground and realizing again the deep longing of advent. The world was in need of a Savior. He came. He lived. He loved. He died. He rose. He made a way for us to go home. We’re not there yet. We experience glimpses of His kingdom, we experience the filling of the Spirit….but no matter what I think until we leave this earth we will be in some form of longing.
Your statement last night just reminded me again of what it feels like to long for something better, something that is perfect.
I love you both. I will enjoy you in my home for as long as you here and I will help you and celebrate the transitions as you make them trusting that all will be well. Please realize that the pain you feel, the anger, the hurt, the sadness…this is all part of a deeper problem, a longing for a better place, where there are no tears, no sadness, no sickness, no pain, no grief, no hurt. Girls…if I could package heaven up and give it to you this Christmas I would in a heart beat. I can’t, except this…daily ask God to fill you with His presence.
The very presence of God is the best and only present worthy of our attention. The presence of God has gotten me through some really dark days. The presence of God has given me something to hang on to when I felt the ground beneath me crumbling. The presence of God helps me to love and to give, to smile and sacrifice with a willing heart. The presence of God is my only security.
God truly is Emmanuel…God with us, and girls…you are too young to probably get it…but God coming to earth as Emmanuel so many years ago is all that matters. His presence is with you no matter where you go, no matter what happens in your life, no matter if you’re in a good season or a hard one. He is the Faithful one. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I must accept my limitations as your mom. I fight against them. I want to be all that you need. But it’s not possible. Only He can be. I am limited by time and space and my own humanness and my own struggle to live a holy life.
God will be enough. He already is…for yesterday, today and forever.
Love your momma who loves you deeply and understands how imperfect our home is. I would like to make it perfect…but if I did…what need would we have of God? It’s not possible anyway…