The Lord has generously blessed me with two precious daughters. Rachel, my oldest daughter, was born in the wee hours of the morning, during one of the coldest snowstorms we have ever known. Sarah, my youngest, was born in the heat of the summer, on my birthday; tying her to my heart in a unique and memorable way and vividly illustrating for me that all five of my children are gifts from God.
October 2002 — Pumpkin Patch
I want so many things for my daughters, yet in the midst of those hopes and dreams, I find surprising contradictions.
I hunger for them to love the Lord with passion and intensity so they will go wherever He calls them, and serve Him fully. At the same time, my heart trembles at the thought of ministry taking them into danger far from home.
I long for them to know, with absolute certainty, that their worth comes from the Lord and His love, not from the world or anything external (beauty, wealth, power, popularity). But I also want them to be beautiful, well-liked and full of confidence.
August 2003 – Texas Vacation
I envision the courageous, independent women they will become, unafraid of the challenges and responsibilities of life. Yet I still want them to need ME; to remain my little girls, looking to their mother for guidance and instruction.
I pray earnestly that they will find soul-mates, worthy of their love and respect, with whom they can sculpt a godly marriage. And yet, when I close my eyes and see them vulnerably entrusting their hearts and bodies to a stranger, I gasp in fear and dismay, wanting only to hold them close.
I hope they will have children and pour their hearts into raising and caring for those little ones, knowing the sacred calling it is to be a mother. I also want them to conquer the world; be doctors, scientists, explorers, letting nothing prevent them from following their dreams.
I want them to pursue their education with commitment, discipline and intensity, discovering their passions and developing a true love for learning. At the same time, I fear ungodly influences of higher education, voices chipping away at their faith.
I yearn for us to be close friends, or, as Anne of Green Gables would say, kindred spirits, sharing hobbies and interests in an easy, comfortable fellowship. That said, I want them to develop their own gifts and pursuits, blossoming into the creative women God designed them to be.
What a terrible jumble of hopes, dreams and fears! Did my parents seek all these things for me? Do all parents face this push and pull of holding tight and letting go?
Time doesn’t slow down for a mother’s conflicting dreams. No matter how much I secretly want to keep the girls here under my protective wing, life pushes them slowly onward until they will surely fly.
And fly they will. I can choose: do I want to have a part in the path in which they will fly, the direction they will take, the people with whom they will fly? Or do I want to shut my eyes tight to their maturing and growth?
Mount up on wings like eagles, my girls, and soar! May the Lord equip me to build in you strength, character and a listening ear, able to hear His still soft voice. I ask that He quiet my fears, gently gathering all the good in my hopes for you, and breathe His vision and spirit into your lives.
He will help me let you go.
…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Jeremiah 40:31)