Both of my kids were born in September, only 2 weeks apart, so this is always a month of celebration and reflection for me. This year my daughter turns 20 and my son 18. From the first time I held each of them I wondered to myself, who is this person inside this tiny body, and what will she/he be like when they are grown. It has been the greatest thing I have done with my life to raise these 2 wonderful people. Both of whom are gifted, talented, caring, generous, and responsible.
Today they left for their first road trip on their own. They picked up some friends and went to the beach. I feel a small sting of being left behind, but mostly I am so happy that they are able to go out and be with friends and find their way in the world without me. After all, I knew all along this time was coming and tried my best to make sure they were prepared to fly when they got their wings. Something I didn't do so well at their age.
When I was my son's age, I had left been on drugs for 3 years, been married for 1 year and had been out of the house for 2 years. I didn't have hopes for the future. I was just trying to get through another day. I didn't see any value in me and didn't see that I had anything to contribute to this world. I was just running in the cycle of disfunction I had been raised in. But my son, he has a goal, he has a hope, sure he doesn't know what he wants to do with the rest of his life, but he doesn't have to, he has time. He is smart, and funny, and loyal. He has a love of music and a thirst for knowledge and he is always willing to lend a helping hand.
By the time I was my daughter's age, I had left my husband, moved in with a drug dealer and was raising his 3 kids. The power of addiction was controlling my life and I knew I was killing myself slowly, but was helpless to stop. I was angry with my parents, angry at the world, and didn't see a hope for the future, in fact didn't care if I lived or died. But my daughter she has a job, and friends, and passion to draw, she knows what she wants to do with her life. She is sensitive, and caring, smart and gifted. She has a determination and a strength in her that makes her able to face difficulties head on.
I never knew what it was like to go spend the day at the beach with friends, just spending time hanging out without a care. I am so happy that life is different for them, it's good. I am thankful to God who reached down and took me into His arms and taught me how to break the chains of dysfunction so the cycle would not be repeated in our home. As I stand here at the finish line, I do have some regrets, some things I wish I had done better. But I love who they are, and I love that by the grace of God they are able to live free from addictions. I love that they care about people, and love the Lord with all their heart. What more could a parent ask for?
Thank you Lord, for the most beautiful journey of my life and for entrusting these 2 beautiful souls to my care. Thank you for changing me, and guiding me and making me into the mother they needed me to be. And now I just can't wait to see what each them will do with the life you have given them. Amen