As a woman who has struggled most of her life with confidence and self-esteem - who can't quite reconcile the Truth of who she is and who she was made to be with what she sees in the mirror, I feel completely inadequate to lead my daughter through this tough & twisted maze of life into womanhood. I understand the enormity of the task and in so many ways all I really want to do is shrink away from the responsibility. As I have done in so many other areas of my life, I feel convinced that I am unqualified for the task ahead and it is all too easy to believe the lie that I am not enough. Not good enough, smart enough, patient enough, organized enough, thin enough - as if the size of my jeans has any bearing whatsoever on my ability as a mother - and yet I can believe it does. Given enough time, and without proper evaluation, all lies can start to look like truth.
Here's the thing that strikes me though - the one thing my daughter hears most often (only second to comments about her ridiculous amount of hair) is how much she looks like me. It makes her beam and it makes me cringe. When I hear that my instinctual thought is, "Don't tell her that - tell her she's beautiful". When I look at her I see freedom, joy, beauty and light - not things I typically associate with my own reflection...but God is using her to change me. Through her, I am learning to seek out the good and give myself Grace for the rest. I want her to grow into all the things I was never brave enough to be and she can't very well do that if in one ear she hears how much she is just like me and in the other ear she hears me tearing myself down.
I want her to try new things. I want her to fail and get back up, to forgive and be forgiven. I want her to know that being kind is more important than being pretty because a gentle heart is the best kind of beautiful there is. I want her to know that God has a plan for her and that I will do my best to help her live it. I want her to know that I am not perfect and she won't be either - and that's ok. I want her to know her worth has nothing to do with her dress size or bust size or public opinion. I want her to know that we are both loved by an awe-inspiring God who created us to be exactly what we are.
And so, He is teaching me first - and He is using her. This wild-haired, starry-eyed, beautiful baby girl of mine has wrecked my world in the best way possible. She will break my heart and cause me to cry out for His. Through her, I am learning how to be a better me, not a perfect one. And I am so glad God cared more about what I needed than what I wanted, because I would have missed out on the blessing of being her Momma.