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Archive for July 12th, 2016

Working away in my garage, humming to a song on the radio, I heard the words “Dear Younger Me, if I could tell you everything that I have learned so far …”

We all know what it is to ponder where our life would be if only we had known when we were young, what we know now.

That reflective introspective moment quickly pivoted my thoughts away from me, when I heard the line “a smoother ride” and was instantly in a truck, just the day before.

I had been accompanying my daughter to our mechanic, who was to look over the truck that she wished to purchase. The entire ride, wait for the mechanics diagnosis, and drive to return the truck back to it’s seller, I wanted to place my hands on her shoulders, force her to make eye contact with me, and tell her (sternly)

DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY! Go purchase a nice, safe, compact car.

But, I couldn’t, I can’t.

You see, my parents, whose failings I could fill a lined piece of paper (and, as parents, we could all fill an entire notebook with our own failings), did one thing I have grown to respect beyond their failings … they let me chose.

Though not church-goers, they fully supported my personal faith with Christ, even attending and celebrating my baptism as a teen.

They welcomed me home with open arms when I quit university (something I now regret).

Then, two months later, despite still owing student loan money, I decided to take a trip to Mexico with a friend (I am pretty certain that they probably almost severed their tongues from biting them) yet they never said a negative word.

They also said not one discouraging word when, at nineteen, I declared that I was getting married. (not sure I could withhold from voicing my discouraging words, if I were in their shoes).

they let me chose …

Over and over, they let me make my own decisions. I have had no one to blame when I blew it, other than myself. I have been the self-scholar of my life’s choices, learning from each one.

It’s not that they never gave me advice, but that that is all they did … gave advice, then loved me with an unconditional love, whether I chose their advice, or choose my own way.

God is the original model of what it is to parent this way. He has given us his advice, knowing exactly what the consequences of our choices will be, then he lets us choose, while loving us, unconditionally.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39

Though I would love to be able to write a letter of what to do, and what not to, or to throw up a stop sign whenever my younger self is about to make a life-altering decision that I may not like the consequences of down the road …

I am who I am today because of all my choices,

good, bad, and even the yet to be determined.

And so, though I want more than anything a smoother ride for my daughter than I might have had, I also know that she needs to make the choice as to what her ride will be …

even if it is a truck.

“the choices that you’ll make
cause they’re the choices that made ma
and even though I love this crazy life
sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride,
dear younger me …

every mountain, every valley
through each heart ache you will see
every moment brings you closer
to who you were meant to be.”

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