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A Letter to My Daughter…

Letter

My dear friend,

It brings me so much joy to see you fighting to hang on to what is true, fighting for time for your husband and children, and for your community.  You never waver from what is right, almost always with gentleness and respect, and others look to you for wisdom.  You are plainly grateful for the blessings that God has richly bestowed, because you are wise enough to recognize that which moth and rust cannot corrupt. I am not alone in learning from your humility, your thoughtfulness, and your faithfulness in choosing the right over the easy.

It is with a very knowing sadness, then, that I watch you struggle with the issue we ALL face at some point – that of God’s sovereignty.  You cling like a pit bull to the last little bit of illusion of control instead of turning it over to the only One who actually IS sovereign; and I know from experience that this is not only fruitless, but also exhausting.  I know as well that I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but simply reminding you as gently as I can.

Everyone wrestles with this in some area – children, husband, infertility, friendships, job, health, home, dreams, possessions, extended family – and yours is your children.  It is difficult, particularly because you are such a good parent, to realize that their Creator, and not their mom, is responsible for their hearts, their safety, their welfare, their medical care, their happiness, their education, their friendships, and their futures.

Of course you must be diligent and vigilant as a parent, and you are doing an amazing job; but I see you grow weary as one who swims against a riptide.  I long to see you rest by swimming with the riptide, knowing that it may take you to shore at a different spot than you would have chosen, but trusting in the One who calms the wind and the waves with a word. You cannot negotiate or bargain with Him, and if you could, what kind of sovereign would He be?

It is hard.  I know.  It’s agonizing, even, to let go; but if you don’t, you are not believing what you say you believe. You have too much integrity for that.  Think for a minute – what part of their hearts does He not know better than you do?  What part of their thoughts and feelings and emotional needs does He not know better than you?  What part of His purpose for them is not better than your limited dreams for them?

The whole reason I write this is that this struggle between you and your Creator affects every other area of your relationship with Him.   Your growth, your faith, your hunger for the Word, your prayers – everything; which in turn affects your deepest human relationships.  So ironically, your goal to be the very best wife and mother and friend you can possibly be is diminished by the energy that seeps away in your prolonged wrestling with God.  Until you can figuratively pry your fingers off of your children (or whatever it is that you cling to), and rest in God’s purposes for them, you will be less than who you want with all your heart to be for them.

Parenting takes overwhelming effort and energy, but it can be effort that comes from a place of peace and security.

Do not think that I have mastered what I’m telling you, but we must remind each other of what is true; and I hope you love me well enough to do the same.

“I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.  Stand fast in it.”  I Peter 5:12