It would be silly to say I knew what I was doing, that I was the mother making the daughters.
Because it’s always been the other way around: The daughters have made the mother.
I’ve tried to hold things together here with all kinds of strings, tying together our days with feeding regimens, napping schedules, chore lists.
Turns out, the real strings that have bound us were these —
whispered songs in the dark,
prayers every morning,
and every silly act of spontaneity that never once appeared on a to-do list.
Motherhood isn’t for amateurs, but every first time mother is just that: an amateur. Jesus is the only hero in this house. And the Father will still stand as the surest string tying everything together, even if it looks like it’s all falling apart.
God has hemmed us in to the real heart of a life, and it beats like this: Jesus … Jesus … Jesus.
Girls, I love you to the moon and back.
But love means your Dad and I let go a little every day.
We let a little more of that string out, sending you higher, like a diamond kite against the bright-blue dome of the heavens. We watch you fly.
And someday you’ll soar.
You girls are capable for greatness, but watch out for the way the world defines greatness. It will seduce you. Greatness will wear names like significance and ambition. Don’t forget that you are already significant in Christ.
The thing about greatness is this: the greatest lives are marked with love, not trophies. Love people. On your own roads toward life’s meaning, you’ll pass by someone everyday who needs you. Stop for the one lying at the side of the road.
And don’t forget that you might be the one who needs help most. Don’t be afraid to ask. And I promise you this: I’ll always keep the phone close.
I won’t let go of the string, because once you girls made me a mother, I committed to forever.
No, I won’t let go of the string, but I won’t hang on too tight either. I am your mother, not your compass. God is your GPS, the only way to fly True North.
I have wanted to be the kind of mama to show you that it was safe to trust God, to let the string out even when it felt risky. We framed your Dad’s words and hung them on the kitchen wall to remember: “God’s Got It.”
I have wanted you to know me as a mother who chose prayer over worry, sacrifice over status. I have wanted you to know me as one who sees glasses as being half full … and who doesn’t cry over the spilled ones.
I haven’t always practiced what I preached. But in those times, I pray that you remember how Christ was every ounce of strength to overmatch your mama’s weakness.
Know, above all else, that you are irrevocably loved and adored by a Savior. This is the single greatest gift of all humanity. Unwrap it every day.
Jesus says let the children come to me. In God’s eyes, you’re always a kid.
When God is enough for you, you will always have enough. God is your significance.
Erase grudges. Catalog graces.
Don’t just say your prayers. Be someone’s answer.
Forgive your enemies. And forgive yourself.
And never outgrow the need to hold hands when crossing the street.
I pray that you always keep your spiritual eyes open and your minds alert. God gives outlandish and marvelous gifts, but you have to be paying attention to see them. God’s gifts don’t often appear under Christmas trees. Rather, they are gifts that “happen” — often in moments when you’ve poured yourself out. Someday you will see what I mean, when you stop at the side of the road for the one who needs you.
There’s something else I need you to know: You may doubt. Your mama doubted, and I know you’ve seen what it looks like when doubt flips over, to let faith grow from the mossy underside. That’s why you see your mama cry in church some Sundays, and why she raises her hands when she sings, and why she prays for you while she folds your denim.
It really is okay to ask hard questions about God, and to wade your way into the theological deep, but don’t forget that love is never out of reach. You can find it in the shallow end of the pool.
Your Savior is a tireless Savior, and He won’t leave you. Ever.
No really. E-VER.
His goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life. In the Hebrew, “follow” is radaph. And it means to pursue, to chase.
God is chasing you.
(Guess who wins that race?)
And dear daughters, if you ever wonder how I know what I’m talking about — well then, follow the string that will lead you home. And the woman at the end of the string — the mother you made, the mother who wants you to know more than anything else how much God loves you, and who is a recipient of God’s unrelenting grace — she has a story for you.
Submitted in community with Laura Boggess today: