Kids, you have a lot of life ahead of you. You have big dreams and hopes for how that all will go. There are so many things I want to promise you about that life.
I wish I could promise you, sweet girl, that you will become a world-famous women’s soccer player. Or that you, brilliant son, will someday live on that space station (though you know I want you to stay on this planet). I wish this world would always love you, no harm will ever come to you, you will have an easy path, life will be fair, and you will be happy and carefree.
I can’t promise any of that.
Here’s what I can promise you:
I promise you will always be loved.
I love you so much sometimes I can’t stand it. It spills out all over you in hugs and kisses you don’t necessarily want. Other times it’s harder because our sin gets in the way, but I promise I will always make it my aim to love you well.
And when I fail, which I will, remember that you are unconditionally loved by the One who made you. His is the one opinion that will never change. He’s wild about you. Let that be your solid place, even more than me.
I promise I will love your dad.
He’s a good man, your dad is. I’m blessed. But neither of us is perfect and marriage is hard work. I promise I will love him and fight for what we have. We will show you that it’s all worth it to have someone who is with you for the long haul. We want that for you.
I promise God will always be with you.
If I could, I would always be with you (probably even when you’d rather I wasn’t). I will always try, but there will be times that I cannot be there, or should not be there for your own growth. God has no such restrictions. He will always be there with all you need.
I promise to get all up in your business.
Hey, I’m your mom. So yes, I’ll ask about who you hang out with and what you talk about. I’ll put restrictions on what you can watch and play. When you’re emailing and browsing online, I’ll be looking over your shoulder. I’ll stick my nose in your room when you aren’t expecting me. I’ll make you eat your vegetables and do your chores. Get used to it. It’s because of #1.
I promise to let you go your own way.
I know that might seem contrary to #4. It’s hard for me to write, but I know you need to be independent from us. I have ideas about who I’d like you to be, but those don’t matter. What matters is that you be you. I know there will be many times when I need to just let you go, maybe even let you fail miserably. I will. Or at least I promise I will try.
I promise to always be FOR you.
At every competition, every job, every relationship that means something to you, everything you attempt, I will be your cheerleader. I’ll be the last one standing even if everyone else has stopped watching. Even when you don’t believe in yourself, I will believe in you. I am your biggest fan.
I promise to be with you in the fight.
You know I can’t keep you from all the hard, painful, unfair experiences of life. That’s true. But I promise that whatever you are going through, I will be all in. I will weep with you, be angry with you, pray with you and fight the good fight with you. We will walk the hard roads together.
I promise to keep trusting God for you.
I know you think I’m a good mom. Thanks for that. But the fact is, I’m not enough, and I need to own that. Where I am powerless, I need to trust in God to grow you in ways I just can’t. I will keep prying open my sticky fingers to trust you back to Him, believing that He is doing good work in you.
I promise I will make mistakes.
You know I can’t be a perfect mom, but that’s not what you need anyway. You need a mom who is human and makes mistakes, but gives herself grace and picks herself up to move on. And when I mess up, I will apologize. I can model that for you. Thanks for always being gracious when I do.
I promise to point you to Jesus.
At the end of the day, He can give you so much more than I can. I hope you always believe that. I’m never going to stop telling you and showing you, because when you find a well in the desert, you take others there. He’s living water, your source of life. He’s the best I can offer you. I promise.