Wednesday, December 17, 2008

21 Years and 21 Months: The Most Incredible Blessing

(Meredith at 21 years and Sheridan at 21 months)

Today we celebrate the 21st birthday of our firstborn. As I (Joy) consider how greatly Meredith has blessed our lives, I am aware of my inability to find words to express the thoughts of my heart.

When we received the sweet gift of a baby girl more than two decades ago, Timmy and I had been married for 3 years. Becoming parents at age 22, we were but kids ourselves. This precious daughter has filled our lives with joy and laughter that has carried us from our youth to our middle years.

I remember on Meredith's 18th birthday when the realization hit me suddenly and unexpectedly that the greatest portion of parenting her was over. We were essentially "all done" raising our daughter. Sure, we'd continue to share our life experiences with her and encourage her in her walk with God, but the training, the mothering, the great amount of daily discipleship was over - done - gone. I felt unprepared for the harsh reality. I had enjoyed raising a daughter so very much. It passed by so quickly; all those years seemed condensed into a brief moment. Although still ahead was the joy of raising our sons, I realized that Meredith's 18th birthday marked the beginning of the end. I tried as best I could to hide my tears of grief at the passing of what had been my childhood dream - to be a mother and raise children. I sadly calculated how many years I had left before Harrison, the youngest, would also be "done" and the most joyous chapter of my life would close - never to be reopened.

But then God....

But then God stepped out of the portals of Heaven and against the darkest of clouds - a multitude of miscarriages - He sent us another baby girl to love and hold and call our own! A chance to begin again! The work of mothering that had brought me so much joy was only just beginning! There would be hairbows, nursery rhymes, tights pulled up over chunky legs on Sunday morning, lullabies, and an immeasurable amount of laughter. In Sheridan's birth, God gave us great gladness!

So on this morning, we celebrate not only the joy of an incredibly delightful 21 year old daughter who has turned into a young woman that far surpasses our greatest dreams, but we also marvel at the goodness of God to give us Meredith's toddling, 21 month old sister. "We are praising the Lord for His great love and for all His wonderful deeds to us." Psalm 108:31

1 comment:

The Pauls' said...

I just found your daughter's blog and linked to yours. I love your birthday post. Our oldest son in getting married in February and we too are coming to the realization that this stage is over and we are entering a new phase of life. Still an exciting one, but life will not be that same as we have known is for the past 19 years!