My mother was a pioneer. Of so many ways. She stood in the gap of so many deficiencies, and led the way. When she became a parent, She didn’t read parenting books, that wasn’t a thing. This was before the parenting section existed in the book stores.
The only tools she had were the scars of a childhood that she didn’t want to repeat, and most importantly....she knew a gentle Father. A Father that wasn’t angry with her. One that held her hand through every dark place. One that loved her even in her own process. One that was gracious and available.
She would say that she didn’t know what she was doing, and that she wished she had done better. But she gave us what she DID have. And it was an extension of God’s heart. The tangible love and grace that she had felt time and time again.
The second gift that she gave me was process.
Knowing her own journey took time, many lessons, trial and error, but most important it took a yielded heart to God. She extended the same mercy.
She let me grow. She let me be in my own process with my life and with God. She didn’t pressure me to hurry up and arrive or “get it”. She knew that I would. Even if I had to circle the same mountain a few times. And feel the burn of my choices. She let me learn. She called my potential forward. And she called me out when I wasn’t using it.
If you know my mom, she has a very strong moral compass. Unshakeable compass of right and wrong. She never held that back. But she honored us while we figured that out.
I think that the act of honoring someone during process can make or break them in that season.
Honor will draw a heart close. Dishonor will push a heart further away.
I saw my mom honor us over and over, even when we were messy, and didn’t honor her.
She guided. She didn’t control. She loved. She didn’t shame. She connected. She didn’t disregard. She understood. She didn’t discredit.
She held space for me to process my heart, even if she knew the answer to my quandary. And in a few minutes she was sure going to tell me what that answer was.
But her priority was for me and my siblings to learn through our own experiences, and learn as much as we could. Even if those lessons were painful. Even if they cost us a lot. Even if they were embarrassing. I always felt her rest.
And I think that the key to being resilient in process is your ability to rest.
I’m not talking about actual sleep. I’m talking about our hearts. My mother parented from a place of rest. She didn’t fret. Or if she did, I was not aware of it. She was steady because she knew that if the story wasn’t good, then it wasn’t the end. She trusted God with our hearts. And rested in His pursuit of us. Because He would leave the 99 to chase the one. She rested in knowing that the most painful lessons were the best teachers. And she rested knowing that God loved us far more than anyone ever could. She rested knowing that as long as she connected to our hearts, she would have access to speak truth into us.
Relational equity is directly measured by the safety of the relationship.
My mom always felt safe, which is why I value what she has to say, it’s why I have invited her into my process. It’s why I feel connected to her even when we 100 percent disagree. She made it safe for me to be in process, letting me own it, soak it in, learn from it, gain new perspectives, and grow like a weed.
So thanks Mom.
For letting me grow. For telling me the truth. For valuing my heart. For honoring me. For an unwavering love even when I missed the mark. And for extending the grace that only rests inside the heart of God.