My Precious Girls,
As I type this you are ages 8 and 5. Your dad and I just tucked you into your bunk beds stacked with fuzzy throw blankets, stuffed animals and American Girl dolls. You told me you loved me at least a dozen times. I suspect that’s a stall tactic, but I relish it nonetheless. We blew kisses and you begged me to stay. So I sat on the steps to the top bunk for a few minutes and prayed for you.
I never stop praying for you.
If the last eight years are any indication of how quickly your growing-up years will fly, then I will blink and tomorrow you will be packing the van for college. And nights like tonight—our ordinary, beautiful bedtime routine—may not even register in your memory bank. You will forget the scent of your strawberry shampoo, your innocent prayers for a good night’s sleep, and the words to the Praise Baby CD you still beg me to play when I turn off the lamp. But I will remember these details for all of us. Your childhood is safe in my heart.
YOU are still safe in my heart.
I am your mom.
Not your enemy.
I imagine you hold grievances against me now. I set rules for you that other kids aren’t expected to follow. I hold you accountable for your actions and remind you of God’s best when you might settle for good enough. These years are brutal, I get that. High school is a peer-pressure war zone. You think I can’t relate, but I was your age once, too. And I know you better than you think I do. I’ve been equipping you for this battle since you were in diapers. You’re strong and you are wise. Don’t doubt it.
He loves you. You know this, although you might sometimes forget. Do not fear the day your faith is tested. It must pass the test before it becomes your own. I will be on my knees for you as long as it takes. You are not alone.
You will make mistakes, count on it. Maybe big ones. I still do, too. But remember God’s grace is bigger, therefore so is mine. You don’t have to be afraid to tell me when you’ve messed up or when your heart is breaking. Talk to me. Whatever it is, I will never turn you away.
Some friends will draw you closer to Jesus. Some will pull you far. Learn to discern the difference. Today you think all the boys are buddies but someday they will want to play more than soccer. Protect your heart. Save it for the one God has picked out for you behind door number 17. You’re only behind door number 12 right now. “Wait for the LORD. Be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).
Technology will distract you and media will lie to you. Failures will attempt to define you, and accomplishments will never fully satisfy you. But God is right beside you, my lovely ones. He is faithful, loving, and good. He will pull you through rough and high seasons. I know, because I’m asking him to do it, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Tonight, ten years ago, I peeked in on you all snuggled beneath pink comforters, your angel faces glowing peaceful while you slept. I love you so much my heart aches.
As you mature into someone different, you remain inherently familiar to me. My girls. My gifts. You are God’s masterpiece. And I get the privilege of polishing you until you shine.
Of cheerleading you toward God and his blessings.
Of being your mom.
It’s been a pretty awesome job so far. But we’re not done yet. In some ways, we’re just beginning.
And I can’t wait to see who you become tomorrow.
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Today’s post was inspired by the new book, Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture, by Candy Gibbs. It encouraged me to realize we don’t need to fear the teen years; we can triumph through them. Using practical biblical wisdom and modern perspectives from today’s young adults, Rescue throws a lifeline to any parent struggling to keep teens afloat in a world of crashing social and emotional waves.
This week I’m giving away a copy of Rescue to one randomly selected winner. To enter, share this post with another mom and leave a comment letting me know you did. (Subscribers, click here to access comments on the blog.)
I hope you win!
**This post contains affiliate links.