The Hardest Lesson I Will Ever Face...

“If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.’ Then, repeat to yourself the most comforting words of all, ‘This too will pass.’ -Ann Landers

Most of you have heard my story, or at least, heard bits and pieces of it. It’s marked by pain, redemption, more pain, then more redemption…a whole lot of grace and beautification. It’s a process of renewal and a process of becoming (becoming what? I guess we will see). 

Because of this story-no matter how much beauty I’ve found in the struggle, in the dirt and adoption and breaking ground, I’m desperate to preserve My Girl from those same aches. I’ve made unrealistic commitments in my heart about what mommying will look like from me, all the fun we’ll have together and all the evil I’ll protect her from. We’ll run through the fields and frolic together where no injures can touch us! We’ll be free! 

But (obviously) life isn’t that “free.” There are aches and pains that hit suddenly. There are traumas even those with the best-of-lives face. We’ve all heard the stories that can swell the tellers eyes with tears instantly, no matter how blessed they are. 

There will be pains I will not be able to prevent. No bandaid can fix, no kisses can heal. It is inevitable, in the forces of this world, that pain will strike swiftly, and it will be complicated and she will carry it on her own. 

This has been a record-playing thought in my mama brain this week (not original…we’ve watched Inside Out almost four times): there will be pains I can’t protect her from. 

My happy-go-lucky, free spirit girl will cry secret tears in the bathroom. She will see and hear things about herself she won’t like, and she will have secret imposing lies and battles she thinks she’s lost. 

And Jesus will call me to wait. 

As much as I want to rescue, I will be called to wait, and let the struggle grow her and mold her and shape her not into who I want her to be, but who Christ has called her to be. 

And my heart will (it already is) crying out to the Lord, asking if I could just take those aches for her. Can I just carry them for her, Lord? Because I can handle them. I can handle my own tears. Hers? Oh no, Lord. I can’t do that. 

And the Lord reminds me of the ache he faced when He let Christ hang on the tree–for my sake. For her sake. So that these secret tears won’t be in vain, but for His glory, and he good. For the sake of the world and the legacy she’ll leave. 

My role is to teach her the hardest lesson I’ll ever know-to live in the struggle well. To know it’s ok to be sad, and it’s alright to be mad. Just know the beauty will come from the struggle if not today then in eternity when we’ll watch the Great Tale unfold in ways we never thought possible. 

In my helplessness to heal her wounds, I will teach her that we are never truly helpless, but helped by a God who offers His strong hand to hold and hang onto, no matter how weak our grip. 

In my brokenness in seeing her breaking, I will teach her to linger and let the process be, no only for herself but for those around her. To take a step forward and say “it’s ok to be sad today.” 

In my relinquishing of control (oh sweet, sweet, control…how i love thee…let me count the ways…)-I will teach My Girl the sweetness of surrender and release. 

And in that sweet release, we will learn together to receive. 

There are many many lessons to be learned and taught that will be impossible to do on my own. But my intention is to rely on Christ as I learn, to relinquish, then share what I’ve learned in the process; embracing this blessed mess, and admitting I don’t have it together, all figured out, and letting the waves of Mercy teach My Girl what needs to be taught so that the struggle will not remain as just so, but will grow into a beautiful time in her unfolding story. 

photos by Valerie Denise