Tuesday, September 24, 2013
a prayer for my daughter
For years, I prayed for a daughter.
I didn't expect that having a girl would heal my heart. She isn't here to fill the void left by my mother's departure from earth over 12 years ago. Our relationship will no doubt be very different from the one I had with my mom. But at just two months old, that relationship has given me a better understanding of my own mother's heart and a glimpse of her love for me.
I don't know if there is anything that can prepare you for motherhood and the lens it provides for seeing the world. Friends told me it would be beautiful and you couldn't love anything more. But until I actually held this little girl with my genes who looks a lot like my baby pictures, I did not really know what they were talking about.
Maggie isn't going to heal the brokenness I still feel from losing my mom, but I already see how she allows me to relate to my own mom in new ways. I understand why my mom did and said things I thought were crazy while I was growing up (quick example: when I got my driver's license Mom told me she got down on her knees to pray for me every time I left with the car. I was convinced she was nuts and now 16 years later I am pretty certain I'll be doing the same in another 16 years-- I just know not to tell Maggie.)
I took this photo one afternoon while we were laying on my bed. I intended to nap alongside her, but having done this before, I should have known what would happen: I would lay there wide awake and stare at her.
It was one of those moments, I wanted to freeze. The lighting seemed perfect so capturing it with my iPhone was the next best thing. She'll of course be embarrassed one day, but if she becomes a mother she will appreciate the photo and I'll share with her what ran through my head that afternoon.
With tears in my eyes I prayed silently, asking God to keep her healthy and that He'd protect her little heart. It felt selfish to ask that I would live long enough to know her children. It's a prayer I prayed the first time I was alone in the house with Maggie and it's one thing I can never stop asking for.
I cannot fathom my little girl enduring the heartache of losing her mom and walking into womanhood without a mother.
As a new mom, I have longed to ask my mother all kinds of questions, from "did I do that?" to "how long did you breastfeed me?" Instead, I rummage through old photographs and reread her pregnancy journal. I am reminded of her faith and how so many of my childhood memories have to do with her planting seeds of knowing Jesus.
What better legacy could she leave? Each time I long to ask my mom a question, I want to be encouraged by her legacy and gently push my little girl in the same direction. I want Maggie to remember me singing hymns, speaking life-giving words and taking photos with my iPhone. And above all, as one who trusted God, even when it was hard.
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