Lately, my oldest daughter has taken to wearing one of my beloved old hoodies. The elbows are bare, the cuffs frayed, and the color completely faded. I replaced it several years ago with something a little more presentable. The sweatshirt has seen my everyday goings on of bible study, picking up groceries, pulling weeds, and snowboarding. It has also seen long walks with friends as we did battle in prayer and held each other’s arms up in ministry. It has caught the tears of women that poured out their anger and hurt over hard marriages. And it has held me as I wrestled with God about my own insecurities of teaching about sex as I stepped into obedience. It is one of those sweatshirts.
I don’t know why she started wearing it. She borrowed it one day when she was cold and took it home with her and just about every time she comes to visit she has it on. Even though I am a little embarrassed at how tattered and threadbare it looks, it warms my heart to see it on her.
It reminds of 4 years ago when she served in the Peace Corp in Morocco. In one of the care packages, I placed a well-worn hand tie dyed shirt I had been wearing all week. I remember thinking, “I hope she can smell a little bit of me on this.” I missed her so much and I was so proud of her. All I really wanted to send her was a little piece of me.
I have 4 daughters. They are all mostly grown – 1 married and 1 still in college. Right now, they all live within a couple of hours and they still pop in once in a while to visit, but it may not always be that way. They are finding their own friends and churches and one day they will have their own families. We are praying for Godly men for the ones that marry and for friends that love and point them to God. My husband constantly tells me, “I want to make it hard for them to find a husband.” He hopes his girls will want a man like him someday. Someone that is not threatened by their wife’s abilities but spurs them on to be the amazing woman that God created them to be. Someone that loves fully, forgives easily, seeks after God and in every part of the word is willing to lay himself down to become fully one with her.
When God radically changed my life and I fell head over heels in love with Him, my oldest 2 daughters were already out of the house. I have always loved God, but I have not always worn it on my sleeve. God and I had more of rational, comfortable relationship – I served, went to church, did bible study. My relationship with God has changed a little…Last week I had a hard day – God and I wrestled, we danced, and we cried together. He is why I live, He is how I keep going, He is what fills me up.
One of my biggest heartaches is that my oldest girls were not home when I found God. I want them to know Him like I know Him but with grown kids I have to tread lightly when I speak into their lives. The most important thing I can do at this point, is live it. But living your faith in front of those you love the most, is one of the hardest things to do. What would my kids think if I asked to pray instead of offering a sound piece of rational advice? I want them to see a mom that is a radical follower of Jesus Christ. That loves people, that cries for the brokenness in the world and steps into obediently making changes even when it scares the c___ out of her.
So it warms my heart to see my daughter carry herself so well as she wears her mom’s old beaten sweat shirt. Hopefully a little bit of my faith is rubbing off on her. Keep praying for your kids. Let them see your faith. Let them see your brokenness and how desperately you need a savior.