A broken heart, at the age of 17, seems like the end of the world. So many times over the last few weeks I’ve seen that heart break over and over, as the end of their 2 month relationship painfully grinded to its last halt.
As a mother, it’s very hard to watch and not say those words, “She’s really not the girl for you, anyway.”
I’ve been 17. Those words are the same as gasoline thrown on a flame, causing the spark to fully ignite, refreshing his determination to make it work.
I am his mother.
He simply would have had to prove me wrong.
As we talked this morning, his heartbreak turning to victory in his soul, all I could say was, “I love you and I’m very proud of you.”
At 42, there are lessons I’ve learned through this life that I hope my children don’t have to reach my age to learn, let alone suffer through my mistakes and own heartbreak to learn them.
Things like, let your friends see all your flaws. Each and every one of your flaws. If they can’t accept them, they really are not your friend. For it is only with those people that remain you can truly be yourself and find peace when times are darkest and you don’t want to face the world. At times, it will be those people that face the world in your stead.
Be the type of friend that you want to have yourself. (See above!)
Be honest. If the girl at the drive-thru gives you too much change, give it back. Chances are, she’s already made that mistake once today, and that two dollars she just accidentally gave you may be the difference in her having a job at the end of the night when she counts her drawer.
Be loyal. Never give up a friend’s secret. They have confided in you because they had no one else to share their burden. To place that much importance on you is a privilege. Don’t ever make anyone regret giving you that place of honor in their life.
Be kind. Cliché’ as it may be, you may be the only kindness someone sees in a day. Kindness is win/win.
The people you trust most in life don’t have to be family. Your family can fail you. True friends never will.
Never make one person the center of your universe. That person can betray you, either on purpose, or on accident. Always have a backup plan of your own, and know that love does not mean self-sacrifice.
Visit your grandparents. One day they’ll be gone, and you will long for one more chance to hear their voice. Losing them is painful enough. You don’t want to add regret to that pain.
End every conversation with, “I love you.” You never know when it might be the last time you get to say it.
Work hard and give your best effort at any job you do. Believe in what you are doing for a living, even if it’s rolling pizza dough. Be the best dough-roller they’ve ever seen. You never know when you may need that reference when you’re going to the bank to get a loan to open a pizzeria of your own.
Forgive. Always forgive. Too much room in your soul can be occupied by old wounds. Let it go. There is so much freedom in just letting go.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you have to open yourself back up for hurt, and it doesn’t mean they must keep a place in your life. It just means you’ve cleansed your soul of the negativity.
Always have a dog. There’s something so comforting to be found in a ball of fur that licks your face in the morning. Even when you don’t feel like laughing, a dog will make you.
Jesus loves you, and there is nothing you could ever do to separate you from His love. Know that above anything else organized religion tries to teach you. Don’t get bogged down by the rules of religion, and don’t ever argue with anyone over their religious beliefs. Just know Jesus loves you and you are forgiven. None of the rest of it really matters, anyway, as long as your life resonates the love of Christ to those you come in contact with daily.
Call your mother. Call her often, even. Your mother is God’s gift to you to shelter you from the world. She understands every thought you have. She knew you before she ever saw you. Her love is everlasting.
And, lastly. No matter what….No matter how bad a fight was, or if you haven’t talked in a couple of days, or if you did something that seems so horrible……remember this….Your mother knows you love her, too.