You didn’t choose me, but I’ve chosen and commissioned you to go into the world to bear fruit. And your fruit will last, because whatever you ask of my Father, for my sake, he will give it to you! So this is my parting command: Love one another deeply!xt to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise.
As I was updating and framing new photos the other day, it hit me that I was approaching the end of a season that I’ve been in for over 25 years. A season of blood, sweat and tears, literally. A season of hopes and fears, of being on my face and knees more times than I can count, a season of late nights, early mornings, exhaustion and exhilaration. A season of great expectancy and grief knowing that it would come to an end sooner rather than later. Realizing that my babies are not babies anymore and certainly don’t need me like they used to. This all was a reality that I had been pushing against, but now forced to face. More on that later.
My oldest daughter’s wedding was last month. So many people came up to my husband and I to tell us how amazing the ceremony was. How it was so beautiful and personal and hopeful. How it was “different” and “one of the best ceremonies they had ever witnessed.” How my daughter was glowing, and her groom was overcome with love and emotion for her. My first thought was “Yes! It was beautiful. The flowers, the outdoor setting, the dress, the beautiful and handsome bridal party...” But as I thought about it a little longer, I realized that what people were trying to describe was more than aesthetics. I was talking to my dear friend about all of this and her response was, “They saw Jesus!” I was like, “What”? And then realized, “Of course. They saw Jesus!"
They saw Jesus in the beautiful natural setting. They saw Him in the words of my friend, Linda, as she prayed and prophesied over them. They saw Jesus in my daughter and her groom. They saw Him in the speeches that were given by so many friends and family. They saw Jesus in the smiles, laughter, and the tears. They saw Jesus at how the bride and groom were so well loved and how well they loved others. They saw Jesus.
I often wonder, “How did I get here? How did I get here with such amazing kids (who certainly aren’t perfect) who have grown up to love Jesus and want everyone around them to know and love Him too?” It certainly wasn’t anything that I did alone.
Raising four kids and being a mom and mentor to many of their friends, I realized that my own children have had many other moms and dads and mentors in their lives since they were born. Family, pastors, their bff’s moms, my close friends who have encouraged and prayed for them for so many years.
For myself, I often wondered “will these kids remember anything I say? Do they even understand what I’m saying? Is this even worth my effort, because it’s so exhausting! Is what I’m doing making a difference in their lives?” My hope through all of this was to remain faithful and trust that God was going to water the tiny little seeds that had been planted not only in my own children’s lives, but also the seeds that I was attempting to plant in the young lives around me-that they would also take root. Loving other people’s kiddos was such a gift, but often times difficult, and the realization that I may never see the results of my labor, was often discouraging.
I heard a pastor say recently “the Bible is clear about us bearing fruit. But it is also VERY clear that the fruit must last and remain. So 20 years from now, if you still see that fruit, whatever you did, it was a success!”
To the moms, dads, teachers, mentors, youth leaders, pastors, neighbors, family members…it was a success!!!!! My children heard what you said. It took root somewhere deep in their hearts. After 20 years, the Lord has allowed me to witness what He can do, if we stay faithful and obedient. As a mom, seeing them grow up and love the Lord, and seek to follow him, makes letting them go just a little bit easier. But, just a little bit!