Aug 6, 2007

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow, Yet Onward We Grow

Herein I write yet another reflection from my life. This time a public praise of my mother, on her birthday. So, it is with a heart overflowing with love that I wish my mom a happy birthday and try, in some small way, to tell her how much she means to me.

First, let me say that I thank God for my mother. I know it would be naive to say that she is the best mother in the world, but I sincerely cannot imagine anyone better. She has always been my human anchor, a (human) rock, on whom I could depend to steady me in times of trouble and confusion. We have been through some incredibly difficult times, the nature of which some of you, but certainly not all, may understand. In these difficulties, she has always demonstrated a strength and wisdom that any leader would envy. I would love to publicly proclaim example after example, yet she is also humble and wouldn’t have it. Through all of the bad times, she has shown endless love, patience, and (again) strength.

She and I have always had a close relationship. This is partly due to the difficult times I’ve referenced and mostly to the fact that mom has always understood my strong personality (and yes, ultimately the Grace of Christ). She has always allowed me to voice my opinion and given me as much freedom as I was able to handle, yet not more so. She has always made me feel that my opinion was important and valued, yet the lines between parent and child have not been crossed. Bottom line, she has held the perfect balance of protecting me and giving me the independence “my wiring” has always desired. I stand here, in sincerity, not knowing how she has done that. I pray to God that, when it is time, I can be as good a parent and demonstrate as much wisdom and love.

In keeping with the above, she has always sensed and prepared for changes in our relationship. As any healthy relationship will, ours has constantly changed and grown. Being a mother, something I cannot begin to understand, I am sure everything within her has wanted to hold on a little longer and keep things just as they are, yet she has (always) unselfishly prepared me for each stage. This most recent trip home was no different. Mom and I both enjoy whatever time we are able to spend together, yet, we know that our relationship has and is changing, yet again.

She continually demonstrates her love and understanding in that she knows me well enough to allow me to “go on” when it’s time for change. She knows that my antsiness is not personal, but a desire to move on, in strength, realizing it is Christ’s plan for my life. In all of our lives, we pass from season to season, adapting, changing, and growing. In this particular season of my life, the Lord is preparing me for marriage. Though I do not know when that day will be, the Lord is accomplishing his work in my heart and affections (Genesis 2:24 “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh”). What this means is that my affections are naturally turning away from her, and toward the future, specifically, toward my future beloved (whomever she may be). My mom and I have talked about this for a long time; yet, recently, there has been a noticeable change, wherein theory is becoming reality. My point is that, once again, my mom is proving herself to be both a blessing and a remarkable parent by not only accepting this fact, but by continually preparing me for that day. I thank God for her unselfish love, tough as it may be!

When it is time to part we have always put on a strong face and tried to make the departure as natural as possible. To do anything else would only make parting more difficult and fight the natural order God has set. Yet even in this, is a demonstration of the love, understanding, and concern we have for each other.

Now, in closing, to speak directly to mom… Thank you for being so wonderful and so loving. Once again, I wish so much that I could write in such a way as to accurately express how much I love and respect you, yet regardless of my skill, that would prove to be an impossible task. So, I will close with that understanding, simply saying, thank you… and happy birthday!

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