Some of what I want to share includes stories – stories that show your dad and I are not perfect, stories of our family traditions, stories of events in our lives that have developed us into who we are.
Some of what I want to share is advice. Learn to forgive. Follow your dreams. Don’t burn bridges.
And while I believe those stories and those nuggets of advice are important, I want you to focus on one very important thing as we get started with these letters from me to you. That one thing?
I love you.
(Your dad does, too. Never doubt that. But because I’m the one writing this, it’s more natural for me to write down my genuine feelings if I can write using “I” and “me” instead of “your dad and I” and “your dad and me” and “we.” Just know that your dad feels the same way I do.)
It’s almost impossible for me to fully explain to you how much I love you, how deep my love exists within my heart, my soul, my very being.
You two (and any future children, should God bless us so) are the reason I am here.
I know that God’s biggest purpose for my life is to be your mother, to do things mothers do – like
hug you when you’re hurting,
encourage you when you’re struggling,
guide you when you’re choosing,
teach you when you’re misbehaving,
reassure you when you’re doubting,
coach you when you’re competing,
congratulate you when you’re succeeding,
comfort you when you’re crying
– and love you when you feel like no one else does.
It’s an amazing responsibility, really, and I thank God for trusting me with it.
Since the day we knew we were expecting you, I felt the power of love on a level I had never experienced before – even greater than what I feel for your daddy (and that’s an intense love!).
Don’t worry that I said that aloud; I think he would agree with me and say the same.
There’s just something about the children one brings into her heart, home and family that makes her love grow larger, deeper, stronger. It’s a different, more intense kind of love than I have for anyone else on the planet.
So listen carefully. Understand the words I am about to say, and never doubt them. Never.
There is nothing you could ever do, say, think or feel that will ever, ever, cause me to not love you. Nothing.
If you tell me you’ve done something bad, I could get angry.
If you tell me you have said something that is harmful to someone else, I will be blatantly honest and tell you how that reflects back on you.
If you tell me you have dark thoughts, I will be concerned.
If you tell me you feel hatred toward someone, even if it’s me, I’ll be hurt and disappointed.
But I will still love you.
Some day you will do something stupid.
You might wreck my car the day after you get your driver’s license.
You might hurt someone unintentionally – or intentionally.
You might try something you know is wrong.
But I will still love you.
You’re human, and as all humans do, you have a sin nature. God designed you that way. I accepted that you’re not perfect long before you could make whatever mistakes you might make. I already know you’re going to mess up. (Try not to, of course, but don’t beat yourself up or be ashamed to acknowledge it when you do.)
Please, please, please, come to me when things go wrong. Tell me about it. Be honest. Confess. Take responsibility. And don’t be afraid that doing so will cause me to not love you anymore.
I will always love you.
You might wonder how I’ll react when you do something other than make a mistake or do something wrong.
You might fall in love with someone and wonder if I’ll accept him or her with open arms.
You might choose to move to another state – or even another country – and wonder if I will accept that choice.
You might choose to join the military, be a missionary in a dangerous land or follow your heart into dangerous work – and wonder if I will accept that choice.
You can tell me anything. You can be honest. You can be you.
I am here for you, no matter what.
I will encourage you, no matter what.
I will love you, no matter what.
(And for the record, God will always love you, too. But that’s a topic for another day.)
Letters to My Children is a regular series on my blog. To quickly find more installments, click on the links in the right column.
Photo credit: Connie Phillips