God Over Night…

happens over a lifetime

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A letter to my daughter’s boyfriend

To my daughter’s boyfriend,

I’m about to say the thing that I’m not supposed to say. You see, as a parent who dearly loves her children, I’m expected to say that I don’t think you’re good enough for my daughter. I’m supposed peer down my nose at you and postulate that you only have bad intentions for her. I’m supposed to make you feel that you’ve somehow won the lottery because you have her favor. Society encourages me to put my hands on my hips and wag my finger, saying how much of a privilege dating my daughter is. However, I’m not going to tell you those things. Instead, I’m going to say the thing that I’m not supposed to say: you are good enough for my daughter; in fact, I don’t just believe it – I know it.

I say this because you are created in God’s own image. You, sir, have inherent worth.

I’m not saying that the path you choose will be the right way for her too. I’m not going to pretend that your actions will always be honorable; you are, after all, human. There might even be a time that I come to dislike you. But, please know, my dislike will not be because of your lack of worth; it will because I know your worth and I know that you can be more.

I hope that when you come to our home, you feel welcomed and invited. I hope that we make you feel like you belong. When you approach our door and raise your hand to knock, I pray that you feel like you’re knocking on your own family’s door; the crazy side for sure, but family all the same.

As I say these things to you – I need for you to understand a few things about her. Yes, she’s gorgeous! Yes, she’s talented! Yes, she’s amazing! However, she is not perfect – please do not tell her that she is. If you do, you will add so much pressure for her to stay a certain way; disallow growth as a person, and stifling lessons that come from making mistakes. Please know that she will let you down. There will be times when she may act selfish or moody…and maybe even a bit bratty. As her mother, I can guarantee those times will happen, but I ask you to remember: in as many ways as you are human – so she will be as well.

I hope that you keep in mind that we, her parents, are just as human; mistakes will be made along the way. While I’m not sure where your relationship with her will lead – I hope that no matter the outcome, no matter where your journey leads, when you think back to this time, you smile.



The Parents



Today my brother would have been thirty. He was on the cusp of a new decade, a fresh start and a new page of life. It’s been ten months since he took his own life and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. As I look back over the time he has been gone I think of how fast it has passed; and then I think of how slow the time might have past for him. I don’t understand the demons that plagued him fully. I don’t understand the fear or heartache like he understood them. But then again, people don’t understand my fear that he needs a blanket because it’s cold outside. People don’t understand how fresh this is for me. How absolutely profound his death has been to me; and how he did it has left me staggering and nearly broken beyond repair. I could not imagine being my mom and holding him as his life blood poured out and soaked her clothes. Being the one that had to undress my mom later as she screamed and wailed that the dried blood on her was him is something I will never get over.

I think of how turning thirty held such promise for me. I felt that it was the beginning of being a settled adult leaving my “kid phase” behind. You’re old enough to know better and old enough to understand taking responsibility for your actions. My brother will always be the one who died in his twenties. That sound so young to me. It is young, the previous decade prior to his twenties he was going through adolescents. How did this happen to him? How did satan grab ahold of him so tightly that he could take his own life? I don’t know. I just know the story he could have had. I think of the testimony he one day could have given…maybe in his thirties.

I think back to his 29th birthday that I missed. I think back to his 28th birthday that I missed. I think this is where the real pain comes in. That gut wrenching feeling of loss. He will no longer age but I will and with that lapse of time will go memories that I cannot remember anymore. I was reminded of this fact as I lay in bed the other night and Travis asked me about the time that we all went to this haunted house in Fort Worth together. It took a while for me to recall it, it made tears fall down my face as I realized that all I have left of my brother, I’m forgetting.

So I’m going to sit here for a while and I’m going to stare at this screen and wish that things were different. I’m going to sit here and cry and beg God for another chance for him to turn thirty. I will sit here as it goes unanswered, because it cannot be so, hold down the bile in my throat  and then I will pick myself up and move on for the day. I will bring flowers to his gravesite, I will comfort my mom, act like I have it together and I will thank God that he lived. I will thank God for the 29 years he had here and pray that John 10:27-29 truly applied to him.

He could have been thirty today.

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