“I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God.” Colossians 2:2-4, The Message
You don’t mind if I call you “dear”, do you? I know it doesn’t seem I have the right to use a term of endearment, considering we rarely see one another, much less talk. But in my mind, you’re worth more than that salutation anyway.
You’re all grown up with your own family. Parenting is precious and hard. I’m sure you’ve realized that by now. And maybe you’ve been surprised by those moments when you unwittingly recognized, I sound just like my mother! Yeah, those are sucker-punchers aren’t they?
Perhaps you imagined growing up and being much different than me, and yet, here you are. Not that you’re exactly like me, of course. But once in a while, you get a glimpse of yourself that reminds you of me.
I don’t know how you feel about that. I don’t know how I feel about it either. Do you see in yourself the good sides of me or the bad?
Maybe I should start by telling you how I’ve changed if you care to know. You might remember me as the hard-nosed-self-centered-un-graceful, immature parent that I was. I remember that person too.
But nowadays, I am no longer driven to go, go, go. I’m less addicted to people’s approval, a bit wiser in experience, and a whole heaping lot humbler from my errors.
“God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.” Colossians 1:13-14, The Message
Life is so unpredictable, is it not? I never imagined you and I living so far from one another. And I’m not just referring to miles. I’ve tried to force you to stay with me. I’ve chased after you and cried so hard for what we had lost. I’ve been angry with bitterness and sadness. And then I finally resigned myself to what is.
I’ve also loved you (possibly more than you realize) from a great distance.
You were once the fair-headed girl who favored her dresses and dolls. But I can’t save us, or you, like a true Savior can. My love is too imperfect.
We can entrust each other to God’s everlasting hands.
I’m sure you could count the ways I’ve failed you. And if you kept such a ledger, I don’t know who grows poorer from it. Yet no matter how deficit a person might be—this, this we can do—we can entrust each other to God’s everlasting hands. Does that sound trite and shallow, the words by themselves? Yes, I’d have to agree. But this older me intimately knows the difference between a cliché’ and a living, breathing, much alive, Person. I trust in a mountain-moving, God.
My trust is much better placed in a Miracle-Maker than in all our human-ness.
Love is important, even the imperfect ones. I agree. And for what it’s worth, I never stopped loving you with every fiber—true statement. You might think we live polar opposite lives and maybe we do. But I remember the day you went forward in that large Baptist church and gave your life to Jesus. Have you doubted if that day really happened? If you were really accepted? You truly were accepted. I saw how it changed you.
I trust in a mountain-moving, God.
However today, God may seem further away from you, or non-existent. I don’t know. You may not be aware of this, but the year you went to live with your father, God gave me a scripture over your life, a promise if you will. I had hoped that it’d quickly come to pass. But instead, I’m still waiting for it.
I’m ok with that now. God is still in control.
I want to write as authentically and true as I can. No point in waxing in cheap sentimentality as if that’d woo you somehow. Honesty is more fitting, eh? I can’t tie up this letter, or our relationship, into a tidy bow. Maybe we’re still unwrapping who we are, even if the whole package has become different than we once dreamed.
Trust is much better placed in a Miracle-Maker than in all our human-ness.
So where do we go from here? I’m not sure how to answer that question. Do you? I guess there are no illusions. No abracadabra. No Houdini slight-of-hand to pull a shiny coin from thin air, huh?
But this I can honestly say—any part of your cavernous soul that feels like a black & bottomless pit, any engulfing wound that feels murderous on the very, bad, no-good days, I’ve been there too. But I’ve been rescued and so can you.
I pray you find the God you knew as a child. That you can re-believe in Narnia, in a roaring Aslan, believe in a God who satisfies with such abiding peace and joy that this world cannot compare or give you.
God knows I could not give it to you.
This older me intimately knows the difference between a cliché’ and a living, breathing, much alive, Person.
But I can leave you with this—love. Yes, by me. But even better, you’re loved by a bigger God. If you just knew that deep in your bones. No, I take that back.
If only you knew that deeper inside your soul, how different things might be.
A Mom Who Holds God’s Heart for You Until You Can Hold It For Yourself
Latest posts by Tammy Hendricksmeyer (see all)
- An Open Letter from One Estranged Mother to Her Daughter (Or Any Daughter Who Wonders if She’s Loved) - January 31, 2017
- How Older Generations Have a Purpose and a Calling - September 27, 2016
- Life After Leg Warmers, Leotards, & Jane Fonda - September 1, 2015
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The mother/daughter thing can be so complicated and full of angst. Thank you for lighting a pathway to love and understanding with your words today.
It is complicated and can be beautiful too. I have friends who have the best relationships with their daughters.
Such pain and such love. Praying for God’s healing work in your girl’s heart and in yours as well.
Elizabeth, thank you for being such an encourager!
I am rarely without words…….your words…..oh. I commiserate with you, so blessed by your insights. Life is just too short to not know the love of God and your mama. XO
Julie, I just wish I could download everything I know about her worth in God’s eyes, straight to her heart.
Beautifully spoken from a humble heart. Words that God can work right into a hurting heart and soften it.
Aw, thank you. I pray your words be true.
Oh, Tammy, my heart aches. So beautifully written and spoken from your heart. Praying you continue to know God’s hope and peace…and that His daughter, and yours, soon knows and responds to your love.
Debbie, I covet those prayers.
Beautiful letter Tammy! Thank you for your transparency and deep love for your daughter.
Mary, thank you for your encouraging words!