She’s almost twelve. This lovely, sweet oldest child of mine. She is leaps and bounds more delightful than my 12 year old counterpart. I think of my twelve year old self and shudder. My poor parents. But that’s another story. I have to write down this story from today before I forget because it matters too much not to remember…
Dear precious daughter,
I don’t want you to forget, so I’m writing you this letter. It might not have seemed like the sort of day you need to remember. But you’ve got to trust me and know that my thirty-five years have left me knowing more each year how only a few things in life actually matter. It started a Monday like any other. But with some changes in the girl dynamics of the co-op we attend every week. You need to know, I saw you. I saw you hold back and make room for someone new. I saw you watch things all shift and everyone struggle to find their place. You probably think I didn’t notice. You probably felt like it seemed silly how deeply you felt the change and how hard it was, how hard it is when things go from something comfortable and familiar to something different and new and all in one day. Daughter, it isn’t silly and your ability to feel deep things, is a God-given wonder. You may question that in years to come. I surely have. You’ll have to learn to trust that it is part of your intentional, purposeful design. You will get to figure out for yourself that no slew of emotions, no amount of irrational, hormonal talk is too much for God to handle. I will drive you nuts sometimes and I won’t say the right thing. I may make you wonder if I really ever was young once in my trying-to-be-wise mother speak.
My mama heart hurt as I stood back, knowing you girls would all need to find your way today. You were gracious and good. But I saw your heart and it was sad, I knew. At lunch time I got a text from a friend asking you for a sleepover, tonight, a school night. The rule-following mother in me wanted to say “no way, it’s a school night!”. But the tender hearted, receiver-of-God’s-extravagent-love mother knew the only answer was yes. So I shot a one-word text back, “yes”, until I had a break and could write more. We drove home in quiet. You walked into the kitchen and I wrapped my arms around you. I held your head close and whispered these words I want you never to forget…
God loves you so much girl. He cares about every. tiny. detail. He saw your day and he knows it wasn’t easy. Your heart matters to him.
So much so that he has gifted you a sleepover this very night with your beloved friend, I told you. I felt your tears on my cheek as the words soaked in. Mine joined yours and I held you tight. It’s true. You’ll wonder and doubt if it is and that’s okay. The emotions, the complicated, beautiful mystery of being a woman can feel like a burden not a blessing some days, months, years. You will feel what seems at times too much, too deeply and relationships will dizzy your heart and mind. Things that were once one way will be another. Friends will disappoint and disagree. Imperfect people will say or do things that break your heart. It is the way of a broken humankind in radical need of a perfect, saving One.
As you got in the car tonight with your sweet friend, I looked up to the fickle sky. I grinned. The dark, rainy sky had met the sun. And over the trees full of flaming autumn leaves sat a perfect, brilliant rainbow. It took my breathe away. The promises of God wrapped up in one physicial reminder that He knew we would always need. We would need to know
It felt like it was just for you as you drove down the road literally right under the rainbow as I watched from the front porch. It is in the grey places of pain and loss and change that we get to see the rainbow beauty. So precious one, remember today, this plain ordinary Monday where the God of the universe reached down into your life and showed you a glimpse of His heart for you. Oh how He loves you, I said quietly as you walked away. And He does. Sometimes it will be quiet and hidden and small. Then sometimes it will be magnificent and unmistakable. He will show you a million different ways as you journey through life. And I’ll be right here, praying you can see and feel His incredible, beyond words love for your one-of-a-kind self.
Life with you in it is such a gift.
All my love,