To my children,
I love being your mother.
Each of you is an amazing miracle, created with your own talents and quirks, your own strengths and weaknesses, and with your own purpose in this life. Our home is filled with so much laughter, and most of your days are happy and easy. However, as you continue to mature, some days are more challenging. As you grow and change, you sometimes struggle. Things don’t always go as you planned, and there are often tears mixed in with the laughter.
I love watching your successes. I rejoice and smile with pride during those times.
Watching you struggle and fail is hard. I hurt and cry for you then.
Those times of struggle are necessary, though. The hard seasons in life are the times when you grow. During those times I will remind you of who you are and who God created you to be. I will remind you that you are loved and precious. I will not give up on you or let you give up on yourself.
You see, the most important thing is not what you’re accomplishing, but who you are becoming.
Are you becoming someone who is happy to receive glory from God instead of the world? (John 5:44)
Do you live a life of thankfulness for God’s blessings? (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Do you use your time to draw near to God and seek Him? (Matthew 6:33)
Are you learning to praise God in the good times and the bad? (Psalm 30:12)
Are you being transformed into His image daily? (2 Corinthians 3:18)
If so, the rest doesn’t really matter. Maybe you got a bad grade or didn’t place in a competition, but you handled yourself with grace, kindness, and gratitude. Maybe you got back up and tried again.
Then I’m proud of you.
Don’t get me wrong – accomplishments are great. I want you to use the talents that God gave you and to work hard, and when you do, accomplishments will follow. Success will follow. But when it doesn’t, remember that you are not defined by your accomplishments.
The important thing is not what you’re accomplishing, but who you are becoming.
You will make mistakes. Some of them may be big and come with tough consequences. Life is not over when this happens. Mistakes are part of the journey in becoming who God created you to be. During those times of struggle you will come to appreciate God’s mercy and forgiveness, and then be able to extend that forgiveness to others. Learn from your mistakes, accept the consequences, and move on. You are not defined by your mistakes any more than you are from your accomplishments.
You see, you are still a work in progress. And guess what? So am I.
My greatest hope is that ultimately we will all be together with our heavenly Father. That’s all I really want for you. When that time comes, these bumps along the way will be forgotten.
I love being on this journey with you. You make it fun and so rewarding. You give me purpose when I want to give up.
I can’t wait to see all the things that you will do in this life. There will be good days, and there will be bad days. When you have those bad days (or weeks, or months), remember to set your eyes on the eternal. Remember that you have a goal that transcends this earth. Growing is never easy, so don’t be discouraged. Remember that you are loved, and you are not yet done with your journey.