Today, my oldest daughter Blakely turns 22. It’s hard to believe that I’m the mother of a 22 year-old, and even wilder to think that she and I have been on this journey together for more than two decades.
As any mother knows, parenthood is covered in doubt, anxiety, fear and questioning. Especially with your first, every day can feel like trial and error. In fact, as my children grow each year, I find myself longing to rewind the clock and experience their infancies and toddlerhoods again. My team members are celebrating their own milestones of those days, as I watch my communications director with her almost 2-year old and the growing bump of her second daughter coming in January, and my graphic designer who is experiencing kindergarten through her daughter’s eyes.
Together, Blakely and I have walked through mistakes, regrets, and ultimately, joys and triumphs. Being a mother is my greatest accomplishment, and one look at this beautiful, brilliant and confident woman overflows my heart and makes me eternally grateful for my Heavenly parent who loves me even more than I could possibly love my children. That thought is humbling.
I remember so clearly the day that we dropped Blakely off at boarding school. I cried and cried thinking of someone else watching her daily struggles and happiness and the guilt I felt that someone else was “raising” her. As I sat in my prayer chair on August 23, it was no coincidence that that day’s entry in Jesus Calling spoke directly to me.
“Entrust your loved ones to me; release them into my protective care. They are much safer with me than in your clinging hands… When you release loved ones to me, you are free to cling to my hand. As you entrust others to my care, I am free to shower blessings on them. My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest.”
Wherever you are in your parenting journey… planning to start a family soon, in the middle of fertility treatments, reading this in the middle of the night with a tiny infant in your arms, or hoping for weekly phone calls from college to fill you in, remember that your divine Father designed you with everything your child needs. YOU are exactly who needs to be parenting THEM. Press into Him, and He will guide their paths.
To Blakely, thank you for walking this path with me. You are a delight and a joy. I am so proud of your tenacity, strength and poise. Thank you for teaching me, stretching me and giving me a front row seat into who you are becoming. I cannot wait for our adventures this week. I love you always.