She turned nineteen on Sunday. NINE. TEEN. Y’all, for real, how is this even possible? Somehow, this has hit me harder than her high school graduation. Which is, I suppose, very weird. But true nonetheless.
This beautiful daughter of mine is nineteen. Only one year left of her teens. Which somehow seems like a victory for both of us. We’ve almost made it.
when you wonder how it happened so fast
It sort of snuck up on me, this sense of shock about her childhood essentially being over. My word this year is wonder, remember? And I thought that meant I would spend the year in awe of all God is doing around me and in me and maybe even through me. And, so far, that’s true.
But wonder isn’t just that feeling of surprise mixed with admiration — it can also mean to ponder something, to be curious about something.
And today, I’m curious how the years passed by so quickly. Because, man oh man, some of those days were really, REALLY long.
when you are pretty sure you are failing as a mom
I wrote a longish post on Instagram the week before her birthday. I shared all kinds of pictures of my girl and me through the years. I thought I’d share that here today because maybe you’re reading this post and you’re thinking, “I don’t know if we’re both going to make it to her nineteenth birthday.” Oh friend, I get that. I really do. Read what I wrote:
It’s my girl’s birthday week. Hard to imagine that she will be 19 on Sunday. It’s true, everything they say about not blinking and slow days but fast years.@terilynneu on Instagram
Our relationship hasn’t always been easy but it has always been my priority to point her to Jesus. It was my privilege to lead her to Him when she was seven and it’s been an honor to disciple her, both formally and informally, ever since.
I wish I could go back and tell myself not to stress over so many little things and to keep my eyes on the big goal. But when I look at her today all I can think is how grateful I am for a God who fills in every gap!
So to the moms in the throes of diapers or potty training, spelling lists or sports schedules, tween angst or teenage hormones, remember — you were never intended to be or do everything in your child’s life! But you can trust the One who formed your baby in the womb — He is always, perfectly enough!
Here’s the truth, the wonder of it all, as far as I can tell — God fills in ALL our gaps. He knows the places we fail, the weaknesses we bring to the parenting table … and we can trust His able and He is enough. Even when we are so desperately aware we are not either of those.
Oh sweet mom friend! Don’t give up! Because we can’t see what is coming and we can’t predict the ways He is at work in these children of ours.
Casiday and I are in a sweet season right now. But it’s taken us a lot of time to get there. We’ve had to do a fair amount of forgiving and have a whole lot of honest conversations. I had to accept that she wasn’t a perfect daughter and she had to come to grips with the reality she doesn’t have a perfect mother (as did I).
But here’s what I know, as we begin this last year of having a teenage daughter — God has always been faithful. Prayer has basically been my whole parenting plan and, though some of those prayers took a long time to answer and some remain unanswered even today, I’m deeply grateful for the ways I’ve seen God answer many of those desperate prayers as well as a whole bunch of the ones I’ve been praying intentionally since before she was born.
Mom-ing is hard work and there isn’t an instruction manual. But those two things are also true about growing up. Remember that — and give yourself and your children grace! Because one day, trust me, you’ll be wondering how it all happened so fast.
P.S. If you’ve got a girl and want to pray with boldness and confidence for her, I wrote Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need most for both of us.