By Jodie Frye
It’s the beginning of another school year. And my two oldest (twins), well … they are high school seniors! Class of 2020.
I’m honestly not sure how I’m feeling, other than this is the first day of the end, and the beginning, of something. And that means both goodbye and hello. Tears and expectancy. A long sigh and a quick (and reluctant) peek into what’s next.
After I took their obligatory first-day-of-school picture, I realized, maybe I should have taken one of them separately. But the thing is, I don’t often imagine them in ones. They came as a pair, and they are nearly inseparable. They are the best of friends.
And yet, they each have their own way. Their own unique gifts and talents, desires and motivations. In their few short years, I know the Father has been glorified by their imperfectly perfect, in-process stories. We’re beyond grateful. Oh how we love them.
Parenting is never easy. Never. But sometimes there’s an ease to it. And we’ve been blessed to travel that road with our boys, though we’ve made plenty of mistakes and, of course, we have regrets. But one thing’s for sure…we’ve experienced the gift of grace.
But I can only humbly acknowledge the ease of the last seventeen and a half years because I also know the road less traveled. The one that contains bumps and pot holes, scary (and sometimes surprisingly thrilling) twists and turns. There are days that being this third boy’s mom has shattered my heart. But in the shattering, there’s a merciful exposing. I am weak, apart from His unfailing strength. I am afraid, apart from His steadfast love. I am not equipped, apart from His pre-determined calling and divine favor.
In the shattering, there’s a merciful exposing. I am weak, apart from His unfailing strength. I am afraid, apart from His steadfast love. I am not equipped, apart from His pre-determined calling and divine favor.
All of this is a gift of grace, too. It humbles me, and reminds me, I can do nothing apart from Him. And I am certain God has been and will be glorified by this boy’s imperfectly perfect, in-process story. I am proud of him. He’s a fighter and an overcomer. Oh how I love him.
Though the climb feels impossible many days, from time to time God so kindly gives us a hopeful glimpse from the top. It is breathtaking, and a million days worth falling and fighting for.
Dear mama-friend, I wish I could look you in the face (likely with tears streaming down both of ours) and encourage you to lean in to grace. Whether your journey is one of relative ease or regular ache. Whether you are just starting out or years past your last beautiful one leaving your nest.
Lean in to …
Depend on …
Find joy in …
Grace. You know, that undeserved place of favor. Of lavish honor and goodness, redemption and unfailing love…in partnership with the One who made your little-big people. With the One who promises to finish what He begins. No matter the road. No matter the stage. Just keep loving unconditionally, forgiving much, hugging less hurried, looking them in the eye, and speaking over them what is true and right and good and full of cheering-on faith (even when, no especially when, you’re struggling to believe it).
Your child was chosen specifically for you, and you for them. Seasons will come and go. Some will bring sweet fruit. Some will be bitter barrenness. But all will be grace, and you and I will do all we know to help them grow … down and up, deep and wide, forever and wherever they are planted.
You belong to God.
He belongs to God.
She belongs to God.
We need God.
The best is yet to be…
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
Jodie and her husband, Eric, have been married for almost 20 years and live in Alabama. They have twin boys currently in high school and one in middle school. Being a mom of all boys (for a girl who needs her quiet space), has been a place of deep refining, surrender, and blessing for Jodie. Along with her husband, she is the co-founder of Altar84, a non-profit devoted to caring for the orphan by fostering gospel-centered change through the local church.
Jodie is a word-girl at heart, who loves writing her way through the messy-beautiful of life. She longs to encourage and inspire women in grace + Truth and in friendship with Jesus.