I needed a few moments to compose myself before I said something I would regret! Dashing up the stairs to my bedroom, I closed the door and sank onto the bed fighting tears and rage.
We were nearing the end of my daughter’s 3 week break from college. While I loved having her home again, it was a difficult three weeks. Making the transition from teenager to adult is always challenging, but even more so with a family history of struggle. I felt absolutely drained from navigating this unfamiliar territory. Leaning back on my pillow, I did what any sensible person would do … I checked my email.
And read this:
“Where there is pain, there will be strength…
Where there is sadness, there will be wisdom…
And where there is fear, there will be renewal …”
There is not a single message that could have been more perfect for my heart in that moment.
I closed my eyes and let the tears come. My heart ached with the familiar clench of pain when we clashed … even the little conflicts brought back the memory so many other painful days. I felt the heavy sadness of watching my daughter make “grown-up” choices that went against our family’s values and hopes for her. I struggled against the deep-rooted fear that she will turn away us and our relationship will never be good … that I will have failed her as a mother.
I lay there feeling all of these emotions swirling and tangling in my heart … but as I took some deep breaths, I felt something different. Mixed in with the pain, sadness and fear I now sensed new strands of strength, wisdom and renewal. I realized that I was not the same person I was when she left home nine months earlier. We have both grown.
I felt the emotions, but as my tears dried, I knew that they no longer held the power to destroy me.
The journey of parenting has not been easy. I won’t lie. But in every moment of pain, sadness and fear, a new stone has been laid in the foundation of my own life. I see now that the places that hurt … the saddest spots .. the fears I can’t speak to anyone … they are the VERY PLACES where I am growing the deepest, strongest, wisest.
Slowly, over decades now, God has been building a new woman. A woman who can stand in the storm with strength, one who is gaining wisdom to share with others .. a woman who is being renewed from the inside-out.
And my daughter is being transformed too…
It happens, dear daughter. Without our even knowing how or when, the healing and transformation happens. You, too, are being changed. And both of us are being held closely by the LOVE that wastes no life experience … ever … for either of us.
Let’s be grateful that we’ve made it this far
And believe that the grace that has brought us to this place will carry us home.