I have met a mother whose heart tore right open when she realized that her daughter had noticed. Noticed that she listened. That she tried harder than anyone else to understand. That she cared.
I have noticed. Thank you.
I don’t remember how I stretched your sides and battered your body with my fetal fists. I only know a little of how I've made you bleed with my silence and my words, with joy and fear and uncertainty. In my becoming, I’ve torn your body and I’ve wrenched your heart and there have been tears I’ve seen and many I haven’t. And you have kept on loving even when you wanted to cry out at the ways you were being reshaped. When I've pushed you away and told you I was fine when I wasn’t, you've given me space, but you've never gone far.
You have created a place for me to grow into my self, first within your body and then within your heart.
And as I‘ve grown, your love has made space to share my growing dreams. You have held nations in your heart and knelt with me for the people I have served, becoming my voice to challenge others to kneel too.
When I was too broken to continue, you welcomed me home, cared for me again as your child. Your child still, and yet more God's than yours, having lived half way around the world and holding within me memories and experiences and skills that you could not share. And still, now, you hold me in your love and let me go, making space for my new dreams. Always remaining my greatest fan.
How do you learn to live this paradox, this holding tight and letting go at the same time? Does it always tear you in two?
Can you do it only because of the stronger Arms which have never let either of us go?
I don’t know how it feels to hold another person in my body. I have a little idea what it means to hold someone in my heart. Thank you for showing me that real love holds tight and lets go, making safe space for others to become themselves. This is God's kind of love.
It seems right that your love which has made space for me to become should be honored by making space for others to become. These few words will help to fund a maternal-child survival center in Haiti. I want you to know that your holding-tight, letting-go love is still changing the world.
I love you.