Thursday, February 13, 2014

Love - Faith Jam

An ode to my daughter:

I mistook her for myself.  I thought I was staring into my own eyes, but I wasn't in front of a mirror, I was standing in the school playground.  Five thousand miles and and twenty-nine years since I was the five year-old waiting to be picked up after school.  Her eyes don't hide from mine.  There is not shyness there.  She was excited to be in the play: "I'm going to be on the stage!" she said with breathless delight and I shared her joy.  She is my love, she opened up my heart wider than I knew it could stretch.  She forced me to give, give, give when she was tiny and needed my breasts, needed my milk, needed all the love and patience I could give.  And through all that pain and stretching, in that season when I didn't think I had enough, I was reborn.

This nurturing that my soul was compelled to give my daughter was foreign to me.  How could that be?  As I gave to her, I gave to myself.  It opened a wound that I hadn't been consciously aware of.  It made me raw.  I needed comfort.  The fact that I couldn't find any spoke volumes about my life and relationships.

She was only a baby but already she was more responsive to me compared to anyone else.  She was delightful to me.  I remembered a time when I was seen as delightful.  I mourned the loss of that coming to an end.  She will always be delightful to me.  She is my love.

I broke down and the people I was with didn't understand.  I had to wait until I found the one that did.  I had to wait months.  I prayed.  Even though it felt like my prayers bounced off the ceiling.  I found more holes in my heart that hurt so bad and made me cry so hard.  All the while, every hour of the day, I belonged to them.  I gave my love to them.  And they got my anger too.

She was safe.  The first person to be clear on the boundaries and then let me be me.  I bared my soul.  It was terrifying and liberating.  It was surrender and victory.  It hurt and it healed.  She asked why I held back?  I saw she told the truth.  I could guess why, but it was more important to try not to do that anymore.  She encouraged me to trust that people loved me.  That was difficult.

To allow myself to receive.  To allow myself to reveal my failings.  To let others see a few tears while she saw the ones that fell like rain in the counseling room.  I believed her sweet words even though they made me squirm.  She built me up inside like a stack of duplo bricks.  Such basic ideas that had never been my foundation.  That I was loved, that I was worthy of love, that I was strong, that I was worth listening to, that there was a great future ahead of me.

If she hadn't given me those basics, I don't think I could love my daughter the way I do today.  I long for her to be more confident than me, more beautiful than me, more talented than me.  I am not jealous, it doesn't threaten me.  It fills me with absolute joy that we say "I love you", that we remember that Jesus loves us.  That we kiss and cuddle with natural affection.  That she sees my grown-up body and we talk of when she will be a woman too.  That she wants to "do all the things" for me when I get old.  That she is secure.   She is my love.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post! And what a wonderful love you share. :)