happy birthday, sweet girl….

a birthday letter to my daughter—my prodigal…

dear sweet brown-eyed girl,

twenty-six years ago today, you made me a mom for the very first time.

when i held you in my arms that first time, i knew that my life would never be the same.

you looked up at me with those beautiful brown eyes, and i was overcome with a love so fierce that i knew there was nothing i wouldn’t do for you.

i knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that choosing to keep you was the right choice, the only choice, for me.

it was only you and me those first four years of your life, and though being a single mom was hard, i cherished that time that i had you all to myself.

your smile lit up a room, and from the time you could walk and talk, you were the life of the party.

just looking at you melted my heart and reminded me that there really is beauty in this ugly world.

the other day, i was going through some old boxes and came across the little white dress that you wore on the day i married your dad, the man who loved you and adopted you as his own.  as i held that dress in my hands, i could see you in it, all smiles and full of excitement as you stood at the altar and watched us say, “i do.”

on that day, i naively thought that life would always be as sweet and easy as it was right then.

but it wasn’t.

i spent so many years trying to convince you that i love you, and for a while, i think you believed it.

but by the time jr. high came around, the world had your attention and you were swallowing its lies, one by one.

you were convinced that us giving you boundaries and rules was a sign that we didn’t love you, and to you, all authority was against you.  little did you know, sweet girl, that it was the enemy who was against you, turning you against us, and claiming more of you each day.

by high school, you had so much resentment and anger within you, and you told me more than once that i had no place in your heart or in your life.  i can not tell you how those words stung, and how my heart would break each time i heard them.

in hindsight, i know now that it wasn’t me you hated so much as it was yourself.

from an early age, you believed that because your biological father rejected you that you weren’t worth loving.

i tried so often to convince you that God loves you with a love that is everlasting, and that he will never leave you.  but i honestly don’t think that you ever believed that. to be honest, if it came from me, you never believed it.  it was as if you didn’t believe or trust anything that came from those who loved you, and yet, you were so quick to believe the enemy and those who were out to hurt you.

the day you walked out on our family, you took a piece of me with you—-a piece that i’ve never gotten back.  a part of me died that day, and i’ve never been the same.

it’s been almost eight years since you left, and honestly, each year when your birthday rolls around, i mourn losing you all over again.  it’s as if i lost you to death, yet, i know you’re out there somewhere.

i pray for you every single day.

i pray that God keeps you safe and that he brings people into your life who will be the love of Jesus to you.  people who will sincerely care for you and show you that you are worth being loved.

but most of all—most importantly—i pray that you know Jesus.  he loves you more than i ever could, and he longs to be your everything.

i love you.  i will never stop loving you.

love,

mom

 

 

a bittersweet october

I love fall…the changing leaves, cooler mornings, cozy sweaters…all of it!

i  look forward to cozy evenings with a fire in the fireplace, a snuggly blanket, and my sweet kitty in my lap.  there’s just something sweet and comfy about this time of year.

as much as i love and look forward to this season, i also feel a bit of dread; especially in October.

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on October 28, 2011, i lost my dad to early-onset Alzheimer’s; he was diagnosed at 53 years old, and died nine years later at the age of 62.  much too young, in my opinion.

my dad’s death just happened to be two days before our oldest daughter’s eighteenth birthday.  two and a half months after my dad died, in January of 2012, my oldest daughter unexpectedly walked out and didn’t look back.  she apparently had been planning her departure for months, but we had no idea.

she was half-way through her senior year in high school, with no job, no car, and nowhere to go.  but she was determined that life on her own, even if that meant being homeless, would be better than life with her family.

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to be honest, i never really felt like i grieved my dad’s death, because my daughter leaving totally rocked our world.  the two years after she left were filled with so much drama, and one crisis after another—-all being the result of her poor choices.  and we were left to pick up the pieces. each and every time.

my heart was literally ripped out more times than i can count, and at times, i felt like i was drowning.  it was as if every time i began to get my footing, i would get knocked right back down.  i’m not exaggerating when i say those years were hell.on.earth.  i honestly didn’t know if i would survive.

so every year, when October rolls around, my heart hurts a bit.  sometimes, i don’t even realize the sadness creeping in, until i find myself in tears for no reason.  and even though it’s been eight years this month since my dad died, it still feels like it was yesterday.  i still remember the call from my mom, and the ache that i felt as i heard the words, “ he’s gone.”

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my daughter’s birthday stings, each and every year.  we haven’t celebrated her birthday with her since the year after she left, and this was her choice, not ours.  we actually haven’t heard from her in over four years now; again, her choice.

and so, when her birthday comes around, i pray and ask God to protect her, and that wherever she is, that he’d put someone in her life who would sincerely love her, and lead her to Him.  i pray for her throughout the year as well, but on her birthday especially.

i would never have chosen to walk this painful journey.  and yet, i wouldn’t trade what God has taught me for anything.  i’m much stronger now, and through all of this, i can honestly say that i have tasted and seen that the Lord, he is good.

blessings,

patty-anne

 

 

 

 

Back to blogging!

I’ve been blogging for over 10 years now, and this is my third blog.  It seems as though each blog was birthed out of a different season of my life, and once I found myself on the other side of that particular season, I’d end that blog and start a new one.  Weird, I know, but as I look back, that just seems to be the way I did things.

I started this blog during a season of heartache and sorrow.  Our family was walking through a difficult season, and I needed a way to journal all that was going on.  Writing is a way of release for me.  There’s something about seeing my feelings all written down in front of me that helps me process things better.

If you had told me ten years ago all that I’d be walking through in the coming years, I would’ve crawled in a hole and never came out.  Seriously.  But thankfully, God, in his kindness, only allows us to know what we need to know for right now.  He knows our capacity, and gives us grace for today…all future grace will come when we need it.

Though I’ve experienced more pain than I ever thought possible, I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned along the way for anything.  God has used each and every experience to grow me and to make me stronger.  I’m not the same person I was five years ago.  I can honestly say that I have tasted and have seen that God is good. All the time.  I now see God in a way that I couldn’t before walking through the pain and heartache.  He was right there with me, each step of the way.  And more than once, he’s allowed me to use my story to bless others. And for me, that’s what it’s all about.

I look forward to sharing more of my story in the days to come.  It feels good to be writing again, and my hope is that God will allow my story to continue to reach others and to glorify him.

Much love,

PattyAnne