Short phone calls.
Strict house rules.
A complete nightmare to any high school girl. Especially for a boy-crazy, headstrong and independent-thinking high school girl.
The team behind that set of rules? My parents. The woman on that team? My mom. My teeny, tiny, barely 5 foot Filipino mom.
Most of my teenage life I spent battling with her. The two of us are pistols, firecrackers. We both have a surprisingly soft and gentle interior, but a protective outer shell that no one can penetrate. No one tells either one of us what to do. Our fights were ugly. Words stung. Hearts were bruised. Apologies were made. But I loved her and she loved me. That, we knew. But, as a teenager, you just never understand your parents and you always think you know better.
Our relationship dramatically changed once I became a believer. It’s funny that I prayed for the Lord to grow me and use me to do His work and to help others. Well, wouldn’t you know that He had work to do in my heart first, of course. Oh, the fight I put up with Him about humbling myself in my relationship with my mom! Remember that tough exterior shell? Yeah, turns out that there is Someone who can bust right through it The Holy Spirit was working overtime with me, constantly convicting me of my attitude and disrespect towards her. He gave me His heart and His eyes towards my mom and I started seeing her and loving her in a new light.
Our relationship really began to turn into a mother-daughter friendship as my mom grew in her walk with Jesus, too, and I become a Mommy. Looking back, I suddenly was able to see with clarity my mom’s heart behind all of the rules that she laid down for me.
Recently, I was going through all of my old notes and cards and I came across a letter that my mom had written to my dad when I was a teenager. It was right in the middle of the rough years and my mom was afraid that I was on the verge of running away. For the record, I never seriously entertained it. I think it’s because I knew that home was where my mom was. Despite our disagreements, I always knew – even back then- that she had my best interests at heart.
Reading that letter, I felt her pain as her little girl, who once allowed her to hold her hand and guide her, pushed her away during the teenage years. And, yet, even when I pushed her away, she never stopped loving and supporting me. She never left my side.
I’m grateful for having Jesus in our lives. It’s because of Him that we have a redeemed mother-daughter relationship and friendship, and that we had a chance to make things right.
For my entire life, you have selflessly devoted your time, love and support to me (and now, also to my family). Thank you for always protecting me, especially when I didn’t even realize I needed the protection. I use to roll my eyes when people would say we are alike, but now I smile and I laugh because I know that it’s so true, and I love that! It’s because of you that I am the woman that I am today. You encourage me along the way as I step into my role as a Mommy. You cheer for me when I overcome an obstacle and your heart breaks right along with mine when I suffer and go through trials. How can I even begin to thank you for all that you do? I love you and I am so incredibly blessed to call you my Mama and my friend! Happy Mothers Day!
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