This weekend I had the honor of spending some one on one time with my soon to be 16 year old. We attended GodChicks Day of Courage (a special day dedicated to the beautiful women of God in our church and communities) and then went dress shopping for her Sweet 16 party next weekend. While driving from one place to the next, my beautiful daughter brought up the time that I answered the famous question… Where do babies come from? Now keep in mind, I was 19 when I had her and no more than 26 when she asked this question… To my surprise, my answer was “you just say POOF, God give me a baby, and they appear”… I could not contain the laughter when she stated that was my answer. I was in disbelief. What kind of answer is that? My amazing daughter simply laughed and explained that she was so confused during sex ed because it did not line up with what I had told her. In that moment all I could do, in between laughter, was apologize to her. I told her she could probably write a book about the many parenting fails I’ve had.
About an hour later we arrived at the dress shop to meet her grandmother and her grandmothers assistant. A few months ago, my daughter went to a convention with her grandmother and had an opportunity to briefly meet her grandmothers assistant. My daughter left such an impactful impression on the assistant that she offered to buy the dress for my daughters Sweet 16 party. Before walking into the store, my daughters grandmother took me aside and honored me for the amazing job I have done in raising such an exceptional young woman. My daughter, who will be 16 in less than a week, is one of the most respectful, compassionate, selfless, motivated, God honoring servants I have ever seen. She encourages me, prays over me and supports me in all of my endeavours. She is not perfect and has made poor choices, but she is honest and is learning to take full responsibility for the choices she makes. 16 years later and I still find it hard to believe she is my daughter (I was the complete opposite lol).
On my own I could not have done this. I have been lost, insecure, afraid, angry and just flat out tired so many nights. I have had so many parenting fails. There were many times I believed she would have been better off with someone else…. But God does not make mistakes!! When I surrendered my all to Him, I gave Him ALL I had. I didn’t bother with how much I had or if it was good enough… I just gave it to Him… All the broken, ragged, worn down pieces of me…. I handed them over to God and asked Him to do whatever He desired with them. I also handed over my children to Him. I vowed to live a life that would exemplify Christ and lead my children by example. If I want them to be leaders, then I would be a leader… If I wanted them to live purely, then I had to live purely… and when I would become doubtful and weary or if I would stumble and fall, I was honest with them and included them on my journey. Many nights my babies would surround me and cover me in prayer. We have been and will continue to be on this walk together.
I dont believe I have arrived at some plateau… I can only imagine the challenges ahead of me, but for now, I enjoy this moment. This moment, where I am able to see God bring forth the harvest as He has promised. This moment, where my teenage daughter happens to be one of my best friends. And, while I am very proud of the young woman I have raised, I am also very humbled… It is no-one but God that directs every step, gives me the wisdom to manage parenting and the strength to keep going. It is only with God that even with our parenting fails, we can raise healthy, strong, successful children. ~ DeShawne
Isaiah 54:13 I will teach your children and make them successful.