My children were raised in a lukewarm, kinda Christian household. Truly, I felt pretty proud of the fact that we gave them a Catholic education and, for the most part, felt like they were learning all they needed to know on the school campus.
Proud of the fact that I gave them quite a bit more “spirituality and religion” than I had been raised with. Now the fact is this: just putting the purple and pink candles on the dining room table during lent was more than I was raised with so there was my small victory!
Today, those children are 21 and 24. My impact and influence in their lives dwindles with every passing day. (Yes, I had to stop typing because that brought tears to my eyes). But, I realized, it’s not too late to tell them I dropped the ball and so I began a letter to them a few days ago. I’ll share part of it here….
This is long overdue.
You have been reading my blog for two years now and we have politely avoided the subject of Christ and who He is in my life. We’ve done that for a few reasons but, ultimately, I take responsibility. I am to blame; I am the mom.
There is still a little of me (okay, a lot) that just wants you to like me. I want you to want to hang out with me, I want you to not think your mom has had a lobotomy, I want you to respect me without arguing my position…but, more than anything, I want you to know that without Him, His grace, His mercy…well, not sure where I would be. If I don’t tell you how amazing His love is, who else will tell you? If we politely skirt the subject, I will then do you both a disservice. My need for your admiration and acceptance is no longer more important than my faith and relationship with God. As a mom, you need to know that. The beauty is that it doesn’t diminish ONE drop of what I feel for you both; it is somehow enhanced and bigger.
My love for you is the single most genuine love I have ever given; it is also the single most genuine love I have ever received. The two of you are, simply put, two of the most awesome people I’ve ever known. Bright, funny, caring, committed…and cherished. God truly, truly blessed me with my children. You have, individually, brought me the funniest moments of my life, the proudest, and even the saddest. I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.
But I would trade my need to be accepted by you for guiding you as I should have. I have failed a million times…a million missed opportunities to show you the truth. If I had it to do all over again, it would be different. I’m sorry for that. (And I’m smiling here because I know you guys are thankful that it wasn’t different). I know you guys are thankful for the leniency and the fun mom. 🙂 I’m still fun, I promise. But I’m not the same. I’m aware of every single offense…against you. Against myself. Against GOD.
I love watching families who are strongly rooted in their faith~ watching children who may even grow up and eventually wander away from their faith in Christ. That’s ok; that’s not for their parents to worry themselves about. God is in control of all things….and, yes, He is in control of my two, also.
But there is regret in my heart for messing up what God entrusted to me. I acknowledge that. From that regret, my letter to them was generated. Completely inadequate and, yet, completely surrendered.