dear daughters (on your engagement)

dear daughters … is a series where I talk to my girls about stuff. I want to invite you to talk about stuff too.

It’s kind of inconceivable but your wedding is just around the corner. I want to tell you that I’m exceedingly happy for you. Your dad and I prayed all your life for this man. Though we didn’t know him by name … this is the guy.

dear daughters (on your engagement)

I feel like I have a million things I want to say to you. Important things sitting deep in my heart that keep getting pushed out because of all the last minute wedding planning and all the drama. 

I honestly didn’t think I’d be that mom. The screechy, crazy mama you see on those television shows. But as evidenced a couple nights ago, I am fully aware I have that potential. It surprised me. I think it surprised you, too. And I really couldn’t pull apart all the pieces and why things are difficult when everyone tells me they should be lovely and tender. 

dear daughters on your engagementBut a few nights ago, I had a tiny bit of clarity. While gathering for dinner with the sweet wives of ACF’s community pastors, Anne Marie made a quick passing comment that is now making a lot of sense to me. I was talking about how things were so bumpy and how sometimes you felt pulled between ‘teams.’ Meaning your desire to honor your parents and your desire to honor the man you’re about to marry. And that’s when Anne Marie said, “Well, if she feels that tension – that means you did something right.”

I didn’t really process her statement until this morning. I was driving to get coffee thinking about what she said, wondering if somehow we all did something right and that is actually what makes it so hard. Maybe the something right is we love each other. Fiercely. But the relationship will change – must change – and none of us are quite sure what it will look like on the other side.

dear daughters engagement session

And then I did a fast forward to that pivotal moment. The one when you stand at the altar and your dad answers this question:

Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

Oh, yes. That’s it, don’t you think? The ‘right thing’ is the love and the ‘tension’ is the letting go.

It’s hard to give away people you love. It’s hard to part with the way a relationship is to the way a relationship will be when you’re not even sure what that looks like.

You are giving away your first allegiance to your dad as the protector/provider in your life – and that’s hard because he did something right. And you are giving away the comfort and familiarity of the life you now know – because I did something right in creating this soft spot called home. And we, dear daughter, are giving away you …

So, we’re all jittery and nervous and confused in this transition. Holding tight to what’s behind, reaching forward to what’s to come. Wondering how things will turn out.

Transitions are sometimes weird and hard. Transitions are often clumsy. So in times like these, I think kindness is best. Maybe we should all imagine ourselves patients in a heart hospital. Some days we feel good, some days we feel bad. But each day when we open the door to greet each other across the hall, we understand there are a million unknown things going on inside our hearts.

This I do know, you have the full force of decades worth of prayers behind your new marriage. So though today may be fraught with the strain of transition, it’s temporary. You two are stepping into a life of blessing. And your dad and I have the pleasure of  realizing our prayers are part of your joy.

dear daughters engagement session 2

And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself. ~ Acts 20:32

engagement photos by hilliary cheatham