I really loved poetry when I was in high school and always loved the poem “After A While” by Veronica A. Shoffstall. The words were so pretty to me and each year and each new phase of my life when I would read it, the meaning of the poem would change. Of course, when I was in high school, I am sure it had to do with a boy and a breakup or a silly fight with a friend: the same with college.
As I moved into my thirties and became a more independent self-loving woman the poem really took on a new meaning and started to sink in. I would often quote lines from the poem when giving advice to hurting friends or to myself when I needed a pep talk when something silly was bothering me. Fast forward ten years to now, me with 2 daughters in tow and let me tell you this poem has totally changed for me. Could it be that I have changed? Has God changed my heart? Let me break it down for you.
This poem used to be all about me, when my life was all about me. Now when I read the words, it is all about my daughters and what I want to teach them. I made mistakes growing up in relationships, in life, everywhere; things I wish I could take back or do over. Looking back I guess you can say God was just molding me into the person I was to become (And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28) God will do great things in our life if we just trust him and I trust him to help us raise our daughters in this crazy world.
I trust him to help us teach them to hold their head up high and accept their defeats with their head held high because oh there will be sweet defeats. It is my job to teach them that not everyone will love them or accept them but God always will. (We love because he first loved us. (2 John 4: 29.) Sometimes they will have to plant their own gardens because there will not be anyone else around…but God will. (So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
I trust him to help us instill in them what true security is and it is not of this world but in Jesus Christ. It is not in contracts or presents or promises or security. Psalms 46.1 tells us “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” In our society, there is this thought process and I have already seen it begin in my daughters that you must be attached to someone or something to be “important.” I must stay on top of this type of thinking so they don’t start to idolize things that are not “important.” That is my job.
After a while, I did learn that I really was strong and I really did have worth and I want my daughters to learn that sooner than later. I want them to really know that and feel that and never question that. That worth again I truly believe comes from above. I can teach them that Genius 1:26-27 says we are made in His image, the very image of God and that Psalm 139:13-16 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born, confirming God’s prior knowledge and plan for our lives. Doesn’t that sound beautiful?
Lastly, I know that I will have to be there when my children are heartbroken by this wicked world and my heart will break right alongside theirs. I wish I could say it will only happen once but I know this will not be the case and I can’t be there all the time to shield them especially as they get older. They will have the heartbreak of their plans falling down mid-flight and the heartbreak of goodbyes and probably ones I can’t even imagine. My heart just breaks thinking about it but what I do know is that I have a good good father who loves us and them and who is preparing their sweet little hearts and mine for their journey through life and we are learning… we are all learning.. and we will hold our heads up high with the grace of women, not the grief of children because of him and him alone. That is what I have learned so far, among other things, after I became a MOM.
Until next time, keep up the juggle!
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