I am starting to recognize that there are 4 strong-willed individuals in my home. My son is all energy and extremely “expressive.” My daughter was calm for the first 18 months of her life. But, now she is two.
Let me repeat, she is now two.
My parents and in-laws remind us that our little apples have fallen right next to their parental trees…
image courtesy of “Marin”/freedigitalphotos.net
This Mother’s Day is going to be bittersweet. My heart swells as I look forward to hugging my children and opening their cards. I am blessed to be their mother. But this will be the first time that I will not be able to hear my own mother’s voice on Mother’s Day.
How I miss her…
My mother, my little apple, and me during our last Christmas together (2011)
7 months ago my mother entered Heaven after battling breast cancer for over a decade. On some days, my tears fall, and I mourn. On other days, I rejoice over memories of her. In honor of her, I thought I would share with you the greatest gift she gave to me.
The greatest gift my mother gave me was: freedom.
Don’t get me wrong- we had family rules, and there were consequences if I broke them. But, as I mentioned above, I am strong-willed and independent. My parents and younger sister called me “Queenie” growing up (and for good reason). So it came as no surprise to my mother when I announced that I was going to move away to attend college and pursue my dreams.
I believe that my mother wanted me to live next door to her and my father for the rest of my life. But she never spoke those words out loud. She never guilt tripped me. She never criticized me.
My mother let me go.
She knew that her “Queenie” needed the freedom to be and to try…
In May of 1998, we drove over 14 hours to my new home and to my first “real world” job. Now that I am a mother, I can only imagine the fear and sadness she felt as she said good-bye to her 22 year old daughter and drove away.
As the miles between us continued to increase, my mother continued to pray, and pray, and pray.
In doing so, she learned to entrust God with my care. I wasn’t a follower of Jesus Christ when I graduated from High School and left her home. I became a follower of Jesus Christ once I left her home.
My mother ceased finding security in proximity to me, and found security in God’s sovereignty over me.
One of the last things my mother ever told me was how proud of me she was. The work that God has done in my heart, my life, and now in my ministry, far exceeded her dreams for me. Though it was painful to let me go- she knew it needed to be done.
On October 8th, 2012, I had to let her go, but in a different sense. The Holy Spirit gave me just enough strength to whisper into her ear, “Mom it is ok to go home to Jesus now.” A couple of hours later, it was her turn to go, and my turn to let go.
As I process her legacy, I thank God for the freedom my mother gave me to be me. God answered her petitions for me in His perfect timing.
I am grateful that God used my independence to lead to a satisfying dependence upon Him.
Now that I am raising my own little strong-willed apples, I remember my mother’s gift of freedom. I won’t be surprised if my children move across state lines or across an ocean to pursue their own dreams one day.
My heart screams “no!” My faith says to let go and trust.
Just like my mother did.
Perhaps you have a strong-willed apple, or have a whole orchard full of them. I pray your heart is encouraged, especially if you sense God saying “let her go and trust me.”
Ultimate security is not found in proximity; it is found in God’s sovereignty.
Please Lord Jesus, may our children’s independence lead them to satisfying dependence upon you. Help our hearts to trust You should you call our children to “go.” In Your name we pray, amen.