Kids, I know you have a lot of life ahead of you. I know you have big dreams and hopes for how that all will go. There are so many things I would love 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 and that you, brilliant son, will someday live on that space station. I wish I could promise that this world will always love you, that no harm will ever come to you, that you will have an easy path, that life will be fair, that you will be happy and carefree.
I can’t promise any of that.
Here’s what I can promise you:
1. I promise that you will always be loved. I love you so much sometimes I can’t stand it and it spills out all over you in hugs and kisses that you don’t necessarily want. Other times it’s harder because our sin gets in the way, but I promise that 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.
2. 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 and show you that it’s all worth it to have someone who is with you for the long haul. We want that for you.
3. I promise that God will always be with you. I wish I could say I always will be. I know I will always try, but I know there will be times that I cannot be there, or should not be there for your own growth. He has no such restrictions. He will always be there with all you need.
4. I promise I will 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, and I’ll put restrictions on what you can watch and play, and I’ll look at what you’re emailing and browsing online. 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 cause of #1.
5. I promise that I will let you go your own way. I know that might seem contrary to #4, and I have to admit 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.
6. I promise that I will 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. I will believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself. I am your biggest fan.
7. I promise to be with you in the fight. I have told you that 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 and be angry with you and pray with you and fight the good fight with you. We will walk the hard roads together.
7. I promise that I will 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. I need to recognize where I am powerless and 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 a good work in you.
8. I promise that I will make mistakes. I learned a long time ago that 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.
9. I promise I will 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, He’s life. He’s the best I can offer you.
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