Sweet Child

Sweet child,
No one taught me how to be happy. No one. Not my Mom or Dad. Not my siblings or grandparents. Not my cousins or teachers or friends. No one.
Happiness, contentment, joy – these aren’t things I can teach you. They are things you already have inside of you.
We tend to look for something newer, better, more exciting to woo us or distract us from the yucky parts of life. This isn’t because we are made to be adventure addicts, it is because we are created to live fully, love creatively, and laugh continuously. Unfortunately, this world is far too full of muck and anxiety. The trick is to decide to pursue life to the fullest anyway.
We are made in His image. We are created to experience all manner of emotions. These emotions – even if they are sadness or anger or anxiety – these are what make us grow and gain strength. Like the way a tree is strengthened by the tossing of the wind. Like the way life-sustaining oxygen bursts out of waves as they crash and tremble and die on the shore. It’s the hard times in life where, if we let ourselves sit in the pain for a moment, we find we have nothing left. Our pain drives us to seek “why?” and “why me?” and “seriously?” Pain drives us to our Creator and oftentimes, it feels like he’s not there, which drives us to pursue him more, which is where we find him. “If you’ll seek me, you’ll find me, if you seek with all your heart.” But instead of seeking him, we seek what makes us feel better quickly: lust, anger, alcohol, relationships, fame, food, houses, cars, pretty things. And we find them. And we find they only bring more pain and emptiness, which lead us back to ask more questions. There is no quest without questions.
So question.
So quest.
Seek first his kingdom – even though the pain of your quest may feel foreign and lonely. Seek deeply. It’s only there you’ll truly find him and therein find life. Just trust me.
You and I understand each other and ourselves better when we collide sometimes. This is why we are put into families – so we can grow before we go.
It’s this part – our clashing – that made me pause and write to you.
You see – I don’t really mind it. It means you’re one day closer to being who I’ve imagined you to be. It means you get to find yourself in a mess on this side of life – on the safe side – instead of in the world where it’s too often dark and damp and scary.
So I’m inviting you to sit with me and laugh and love and rise and fall and fail and succeed and learn what it means to live. I’m inviting you to work through your emotional ups and downs in this “training environment” instead of in a “published environment”. Here with me you get do-overs. You get the joy of being safe enough to play.
It’s been an honor, these years, to spend my life watching you find your wings.
If you’ll trust that the process of learning flight means falling, striving, and unexpected flight-path corrections, you’ll find that my past experiences (and failures) will enhance your success rate exponentially. I will let you fall just enough that you learn what getting back up feels like. And I’ll hug you and love you no matter what. Just focus and keep trying.
My whole life has led to this window of time where I get to watch you unfurl.
And this is exactly where I’m meant to be. And it’s beautiful – this view of watching you be you and do what you were created to be and do.
The ability to climb this mountain, jump off, and find the elation of exercising your wings is in you.
Embrace joy and gratitude.
I gave you life so you could live yours, not mine.
I love you more,