I saw that look on your face the other morning.
Your mom started crying when she talked about your 16th birthday coming up today. She laughed and brushed away the tears and tried to explain. "It just went by so fast!" She talked a little more and ended with, "I just love her." Then she turned to you and said, "High five. You're awesome!"
You smiled and gave her a high five, but then your expression returned to that look.
The look of a fifteen-year-old who wonders if her mother is crazy. I know that look. I've seen it on the faces of all four of my children. I've worn that look as I wondered about my own mother's sanity at times during my teen years.
She's not crazy. Moms cry sometimes and you just have to get used to it. Sometimes we cry because we're happy. Sometimes we cry because we're sad. Sometimes we cry because we're angry. Sometimes we cry because our daughters turn sixteen.
I don't know everything going on in your mom's mind and heart right now, but I can imagine some of the things she may be feeling.
I imagine she's remembering herself at your age.
I imagine she's mourning the "mistake" she made that resulted in your birth when she was just seventeen.
I imagine she's reliving the embarrassment she felt when people found out about her "mistake."
I imagine she's happy about how life turned out over the last sixteen years. After welcoming you into the world, she went on to marry a great guy and they gave you three little sisters to love (and they love you!).
I imagine she's afraid for you and the choices you'll have to make in the years ahead. I imagine she's afraid you might make some mistakes along the way and she wants to save you from that.
I imagine she's immensely proud of the young woman you're becoming and she thanks God every day that He gave you to her.
I imagine she's grateful for the grace she feels knowing that God loves her and has forgiven every single one of her mistakes. I imagine she's awed by the realization that you were not a mistake; you were part of God's great plan for her life.
I imagine she knows that the next several years will go by just as fast and you'll be out on your own before she knows it.
Abbie, you are special, but it's not because you were born to a teenage mother. You are special because God formed you in your mother's womb and He has a plan for your life. You are free to follow Him wherever He leads. Each of us is special to God and we all need to follow Him. Keep going, Abbie. If you make mistakes, there's grace there and you can get back on the right path. There's grace for all of us sinful people.
Oh, and your mom? She's not crazy. She's just a really good mom who loves you so much.
Happy 16th Birthday, Abbie!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Have you ever made a "mistake"? How can focusing on God help you to get back on track and follow Him into the future He has planned for you?
*I want to thank my friends Kristen and Abbie for their permission to share this week's blog post. I am blessed to know them and the rest of their family.