Last week I shared my heart for my man. Today, I’m sharing my heart for my girl. I was 17 when we got married. Approximately three weeks before we got married we found out we were going to have a baby. There was no question in our minds, what we knew we wanted to do. And so, we did. We got married and started preparing for our family.
I’ve shared our story many times publicly but never in writing for the world to see. It’s scary. Like a teenager about to have a baby scary.
Since the moment I knew I was going to have a baby I wanted her. Everyone said we were having a boy and they had us convinced. We couldn’t tell on the ultrasound, so it was a waiting game. My bag was packed with a white outfit and the only gender specific item we had was a plush football that read “my first football”. The crib set we purchased was light blue with a teddy bear…and flowers. All that to say we weren’t super committed to the boy thing.
SHE ENTERED OUR WORLD
When she was born we were shocked and thrilled all at the same time. I watched that skinny 20-year old (by one day) hold his baby girl for the first time and I was D-O-N-E, DONE! In that moment, my heart for my girl was more than I could even put into words.
The funny part is I was 36 sitting at a marriage ministry event that I was leading and listening to another couples’ story before I ever related to the whole “teen mom” title. As this woman shared her story about being 19 with a baby I was thinking to myself “hey, I was 18, that makes me a teen mom?”. Mind blown.
Fast forward two years as we were launching Embrace Grace Ministry (a ministry for young moms in the middle of their unplanned pregnancies) at one of our campuses and sitting listening to the founder’s video on kick-off night I had this epiphany: “wait, I had an unplanned pregnancy?”. All this revelation as I’m in my late thirties and my daughter is an adult practically living on her own.
I never identified myself as a teen mom or that I had an “unplanned pregnancy”. I always said I was pregnant at 17 and we got married three weeks after we found out. I fully embraced the head first dive into being a mom and wife. I set out to be the best mom I could possibly be to this gift God had given me through our baby girl.
BEING A MOM TO MY GIRL
And that’s exactly what I did. I put everything I had into being a great mom. Sometimes, I tried too hard and failed miserably because I was killing myself and my sweet girl with unrealistic expectations. My heart was pure in my desire to be a good mom and my heart was always for my girl. I loved intentionally and fought hard for the relationship we now have as adults.
As we were growing up, me figuring out how to be her mom and her figuring out her whole world, we were surrounded by other people who shared a heart for my girl. When I wanted to quit, they encouraged me. When all I could see is my lack, they showed me truth. When she felt defeated because our strong wills collided, they rallied around her.
Today, my girl lives 100 yards away, I have the blessing of seeing her almost daily, we share a mailbox and more than that, WE LIKE EACH OTHER. Every chance I get, I celebrate my girl and God’s faithfulness. Any time I can I remind little mommas it’s all worth it. Parenting is worth the fight. They grow up and go away to college. My prayer was always that I create a place they want to come back to when it’s their choice.
None of it came without a few bumps and bruises along the way but I can say without a doubt I am who I am today because of my girl. She has shaped me, helped me grow up, humbled me, challenged my dependence on the Lord and called out the bigger and better things that God has put inside me. God gave me a heart for my girl and has walked with me every step the way.
She is strong, independent, driven, self-motivated and carries so many strengths I envy at times. But more than all of those things she loves well, with intention, cares deeply for others and lights up a room with her smile and a laugh that is contagious.
MY HEART FOR MY GIRL
I have chosen you from the moment I found out you were in my belly. I have loved you with a deep love from the moment I first laid eyes on you. Being your momma is the greatest calling God gave me after being a wife to your daddy. Your fierce fire that challenged me, has shaped me and taught me so much about myself and you.
We’ve grown up together, shaped each other, defied the odds and stand on the other side. You are my joy, my strength, my God-given purpose and I love you. The love is indescribable. Watching you as an adult, as a wife is a culmination of every prayer prayed, tear cried, and mistake made. It’s also a testimony to everything we got right, not by chance but the hand of a good God.
My heart as you were growing up was to set you up to succeed. To show you how to be strong, and how to be humble. To teach you that weakness is ok at times and humility is a choice. My heart was to launch you into this world knowing there’s always room to fail and learning is continuous as we pursue the purpose God has for each of us.
My heart for you now is that you love and serve your family well. My prayer is that you’ve learned from my victories and my failures. My heart is that my ceiling will be your floor as your dad and I launch you into your forever. I can’t wait to see you mom someday because I know, you will have a tender, passionate, fervent heart for your girl too.
**This mom gig is hard and I want all of you moms out there reading this to know, the road to here wasn’t perfect and wasn’t always fun, but it was always worth it. keep going. You can do this. On the other side of the hard moment Jesus is reminding you that He chose you for your girl. You re the perfect mom, that she needs and He is growing both of you. Your heart will be impacted in ways you can’t imagine right now. I’m so proud of you and cheering you on!