I haven’t blogged in a really long time. The reasons are for another day.
A new day has dawned and with it, I found my voice again. I’ll go out swinging as an older Ezer Warrior as long as I have breath.
I’m the mother of adult children now as my last babe approaches 19. I’m not the mom I was at 20, or 30, or even 40, and I know I’m not who I will be when I say my last farewell. This Mother’s Days is the first I’m fully looking back knowing it’s quite possibly my last one with a babe still living in the house.
I have a lot to reflect on.
When my children were small people always said “Enjoy it. It goes so fast. I wish I’d____.” Many also told me that it was the best time of their lives. It all seemed so far away I couldn’t understand when they spoke of special relationships with grandchildren.
Grandchildren are our babes, babes, and I would jump in front of a train even faster to save them – and to save our babes the heartaches of loss. We know the immeasurable love we feel for our babes and can imagine how deeply wounding the loss of a babe would be.
For some of us it is more than an imagining. We walk with the limp of experience. We look up at the stars and long for a burst of grace to see just one smile. Hear one laugh. Catch one single tear.
A lifetime of memories lost for eternity.
I’m not sure if time really lessens the pain of loss, or if the gap simply closes between the time we say goodbye and our own advancing age and hello again.
Even without death, there’s pain. We can’t keep it from our children no matter how hard we try. We shouldn’t. Pain opens the door to joy. We are all promised suffering – some more than others. A flicker of joy shatters total darkness far more brightly than fluorescent light in sunshine.
I never wanted my children to know pain. But it’s too late.
The wounding is already done.
A broken mother, raising broken children, in a broken world – it was and is inevitable. Today I reflect on a lifetime. Thirty-eight years as a full time, stay at home mother; thirty-two years as a full-time homeschooling mother, K through 12. I am justified in saying my entire adult life and career were given to raising my children.
My whole life I’ve been their mother and his wife.
For the first time in a lifetime – I am Jamie. I’m learning what that really sounds like, looks like, and the value in it.
I am now the mother of adult children and there isn’t any manual for them; few books are written about parenting adults who will always be our children. We are now adults together.
There are things I want my children to know. For those who are fans of the television show This is Us, you understand it is all about perceptions.
“Now we see through a glass darkly” speaks to all relationships this side of Kingdom restoration. As we see Jesus, we will see ourselves and others clearly for the first time. (I Cor. 13:12).
I believe it’s necessary to be real, to see into the lives of others, to understand brokenness that we may embrace compassion and share in suffering as God does. Maybe some child will read this and have a glimmer of recognition in their own mother. Maybe a mother will read it and have just one piece of their heart healed from past errors in judgment.
My faith has changed. A lot. I believe that age and experience, and more age, and a bit more experience has granted me the wisdom I didn’t have before suffering changed the face of God.
I want my daughters to know I’m sorry they were raised with patriarchy – with round parents trying to fit into a square hole because that’s what “church people” said we had to do to please God.
“Someone has to be in charge.”
I’m sorry that awful belief about marriage made me less than, and as children and daughters, they were even lesser than, the less than. Be unseen and unheard.
But God always sees and always hears. I believe that it broke his heart that I never told them the simple truth: “You are of full worth and value – your gender does not define you. God does. He has said you are created in his image and likeness – YOU daughters, are partakers of the Divine nature.”
I want them to know they are powerful, warriors, beautiful, talented, strong, and gifted. I want them to know they don’t need men to make them whole because God has already done that by virtue of the image they bear. I want them to know if they marry a man who empowers them to be more than who they are, embrace it, and do the same for him. Rise above Ezer, soar.
They’re strong like Jesus.
“Don’t ever allow anyone make you feel you are a “less than” again. It’s a lie they told me, and I lied to you. Rise up.”
I want my sons to know that I’m sorry I told them to suck it up, man up, don’t cry, be tough, or otherwise deny the healthy emotions God gave them to process pain. I’m sorry their Dad was every reflected as being weak because he didn’t reign or lead in the way church people said he had to. He is kind. He leads by example.
He is the strongest man I know.
For only strong men can empower women to be their best, to lead, to grow, to challenge them, and still be fully man.
Only powerful men can rejoice in powerful Ezer women and aren’t threatened by them.
I want my sons to know they are powerful men. They are compassionate, caring, loving, gentle, and leaders.
They look like Jesus.
I want my babes to know they will always be my babes but they are strong now.
I am Jamie, I am a woman surrounded by men and women. No longer children but amazing fathers, mothers, teachers, nurses, pastors, police, military, singers, resource people, actors, artists, fighters, lovers and so much more. Image bearers.
They are my children, always, but they are God’s children, eternally.