Dear Daughter, Tomorrow You Graduate

Tomorrow marks the day you graduate into adulthood. But lying in the hospital with you in my arms seems like only yesterday. You cried so loud, a ripple of fear went through my veins. Would I be able to calm you? Make you feel safe, loved, cared for?

I was only a young girl myself really. Twenty-three isn’t much older than you are today. But I was just a girl. With a baby. With dreams for you. 

To be happy. To be kind. Generous. Sweet. 

You’re all those things.

Be brave. Be strong. Be a leader.

You are all those things.

Watching you grow, I never felt you’d actually become an adult. But your long cotton top hair than hung to your tailbone was cut.

It turned into a dirty blond bob. 

You lost your baby teeth. Mostly you tore them out for cash. *See be brave. Be strong.

Slowly, you developed into an adolescent. You wanted freedom and your room changed from sweet pink and mint green into a “big girl” room. 

Then you were a teenager… starting high school. We walked together. Made mistakes together. Lost our cool…together. Figure it out…together.

Slowly…surely…you needed me less. You were sprouting wings. It pained me. It made me proud. 

You’re beautiful. Inside. Out. 

I treasured our nights laughing and talking about life, relationships…your crazy antics at school. 

I admire your tenacity. I respect your outspoken personality.

I secretly wish I’d been more like you instead of like me.

Time hasn’t been slow. It’s been a blink. You fit on a couch cushion once.

Now you have to find your fit in the world. It’ll feel small at first. But do not despise the day of small beginnings, my love. 

Small starts, if respected, result in big finishes. 

I want that for you. A big finish. I want to stand in glory beside you one day and watch as Jesus fills your crown with jewel after jewel. More than I could ever have received. I want you to have fulfilled all your purpose. I want you to know that you can achieve your dreams, hand in hand with God. I hope you see me and know this truth. Bailey's Photo

I want a line so long of people to surprise you in heaven with how much you’ve sowed into their lives.  You’ve sowed into mine. 

You, darling, are my treasure. But I can’t keep you in a treasure chest for myself. I have to give you to the world and trust that I’ve done good enough but whether I have or not, you’ll make choices that will disappoint me. You’ll have to learn so many things the hard way and I won’t be able to make them all go away.

You’re leaving here. This will never be your house again, not like it was once before.

Your room will feel so empty without your larger than life presence. I’ll miss your voice calling our names. I’ll ache for late nights in your bed when we watch TV and giggle.

But you’re always in my heart. Always in my prayers. A phone call away. Not a terribly far drive.

Go and fly, darling girl. Go and be all that God wants for you. All I want for you.  Never forget who you are, to Whom you belong.

I want you to soar. To be happy. To be content. 

I want you to study hard. Remember it’s a calling. 

I want you to fall in love with a man like your daddy–who will love you and treasure you. He’ll cherish and honor you. And spoil you like a rotten brat! A man who loves Jesus and imitates Him and His love for you.

 I love you. I support you. 

I’m your biggest fan.

I always have been (and Daddy too). We always will be.

 I’m going to cry a lot without you here. But I have strong shoulders to cry on. Remember, you do too. 

With all my love,

Mama.

 

 

 

 

 

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