As summer comes to an end and we prepare for the new year, I have spent time reflecting on the season that is passing as we move forward into the new season that is looming ahead of us.
This summer is not one that I expected. It was full of trials and tribulations everywhere we turned. But what could I take away from it?
I’ve learned I can’t fix everything. Mother’s are born with an innate desire to fix things. A child gets a boo boo and we blow away the pain, put a pretty bandaid on it and kiss it until it’s better. But as they get older, it gets harder. And eventually, we learn the hard way; we just can’t fix everything. Some things have to be worked out on their own, in His timing, in His way. And I have to stay out of the way.
I’ve learned I can’t control everything. Some things are just beyond my control. ‘Nuff said.
I’ve learned I am not as strong as I thought I was. This has been a hard lesson. I have learned more about myself this summer than I ever thought possible. And being strong; not so much. I’m a mess. My strength is not my own. “I can do all things thru Him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
I’ve learned I am stronger than I thought I was. When at my darkest, a light continues to show up. Light thru my children. Light thru my sisters. Light thru a simple text at the right moment. Light thru a memory I’d forgotten about that suddenly pops to my mind.
I’ve learned sisterhood is nothing to be messed with and everything to depend on. Sisterhood has shown up in a way I’ve never experienced before. As an only girl, I did not grow up with sisters. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I could write a blog on this subject alone! Lifelong friendships have surfaced in a way I never dreamed of this summer. When put to the test, sisters, whether cousins, in-laws, or friends for life…they form a bond that cannot be broken. No matter the time or place, they will be there. No matter how crazy we become, they will be there. No matter how rational, irrational, happy, sad, joy, anger, grief, laughter….there is a bond there that cannot be broken. I’ve learned I am not alone; He has placed amazing women in my life in the name of sisterhood. We are sisters…and together we are strong; a cord that cannot be broken.
I’ve learned to let go and let be. Relax or go crazy. Laugh in the face of adversity.
This summer was not as I thought it would be. But, there are moments I will treasure. Conversations in the car with my daughters. Breakthrough moments on the back porch with my sons. “Talk me down” moments with my sisters and inside hee haw jokes that will never go away.
But the biggest lesson I learned this summer was this…
It’s ok to be me. I didn’t know that. I’ve spent much of the later half of my life striving to be what others have told me I have to be…or what I could never be. And the truth is, as long as I live my life with integrity, honesty, mercy, love and compassion, as long as I live my life for Him, I’m ok.
My Tia Gloria shared this with me shortly before she lost her battle to cancer. There was more, but I’ll share just a piece. It has stuck with me, like an imprint on my heart that cannot be removed.
“Mija..you do not need to be what others are telling you to be. Don’t listen to them. The only one that you need to live for is Jesus. And Jesus loves you and accepts you for who you are.”
I didn’t know that would be my last conversation with her, but I hold onto it closely.
A new season starts next week as we go back to school and move into Fall; my favorite season of the year. I’ve yet another son who will begin his journey into adulthood as he starts college. Another who moves on to middle school.