Relationships

“It Just Went Too Fast”: A Letter to My Daughter-in-Law

I am sitting in a coffee shop right now. A few months ago I sat in this exact chair as I met with a young lady.

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We were talking about how much she loved my son. She told me she could see herself married to him. I could see the sincerity in her eyes, and I believed her.

I told her I wanted to be her friend, and would support this new relationship as best as I could. I warned her I could be a little bit overprotective about my boy and to please understand if I acted crazy at times. I didn’t want to scare her, but I had to be honest. Because I love my kids so much, I let my heart take over and I can’t stop myself at times. Well, I suppose I could, but sometimes I don’t.

From the moment I held my son in my arms, I knew there would come a time when I had to let him go. Part of me really wants to do this because I know that’s how it’s supposed to be. I want him to live huge and enjoy this world God gave us, but the other part of me wants to lock him up in a back room so he can never leave. I know, scary, right?

Seriously, the days are long and the years are short and it just went too fast.

So back to the coffee shop. I am just sitting here, drinking my coffee, with tears streaming. The people around me must think I am unstable. I am texting back and forth with my son. You see, he married that same girl two days ago. He is telling me how much he loves being a husband. I am so happy to see him happy.

We watched as he promised his love and devotion to this precious girl. She said promises back as she gazed up at him with big, brown eyes that melted us all. Beau is a man of tenderness, with a heart the size of Texas. He needed a sweet wife, who will be soft with his fiercely loving soul. He found her.

There she was, the one I had been praying for since Beau was born, saying her vows to him. I wept. Not because of sadness, but because I was grateful, and overwhelmed at what God had just given us for the second time. Our daughter married a Godly young man, and we love him so much. How can we be so blessed? I mean, really….God is so good.

After the wedding. I couldn’t sleep well, thinking of my son, and hoping he was okay. It was his first night as a husband, and I wondered how he was feeling about this new change. Old habits die hard. I am used to worrying about him, but had to let go. It’s not the first time I have had to let go with my kids. You’d think I would be used to it by now. Right from birth, I have been expected to cut ties. Some of these ties are small, and barely noticed. Others feel like they are anchored right in the middle of my heart. But I am called to raise them and send them off, and so I do, with God’s grace.

I wrote this before falling asleep that night. I didn’t have a chance to talk to her much at the wedding, but wanted to capture my thoughts before the day ended.

Dear Kiana,

You were a stunning bride. I will never forget my son’s face when he saw you walking towards him, on your father’s arm. I know him so well, and he was overwhelmed with love. It was spilling out of his heart and shining in his eyes. You are his dream come true.

As I watched you become our son’s wife, I felt so proud. I think you are amazing. Your kindness is inspiring and has blessed our whole family. You are loving to Beau’s siblings, and that means the world to me. You are thoughtful to those around you, and that is the kind of wife I hoped Beau would find. You love Jesus, which is the best part of all because that is everything. My heart felt as if it might burst with pride during that ceremony. You were chosen by God to be a part of our family, and I can’t wait to share life with you two. I have been the central woman in my son’s life since he was born, but that is now your place. I hand it over with a confidence and peace, because I know he has found a good wife.

I don’t expect perfection from you, because there is only One who is perfect, and He’s the one who will bring you both forward, and will create the marriage He has for you. Fail, stumble, fall….I will love you through it, and I will always cheer you both on. Please give me grace for my failures as well, because it’s hard being a mom, and I will make mistakes. Let’s say sorry when we need to, and look to God for the strength to do so.

You are our girl now too. You are part of us. I felt protective of you as Beau enveloped you in his arms and kissed you for the first time as Mrs. Lindsey. He loves you, so I love you. My mother-bear heart now includes you too. I know this might frighten you a little, but trust me, it’s a good thing. And now you have a whole bunch of extra people who love you. Things get crazy at our house, but it’s mostly fun. Mostly.

People like to joke about the mother-in-law relationship. As if it’s destined to be filled with strife. Let’s be the exception. We can find common ground, because we both love Beau, and we both love the Lord. Let’s keep the Gospel in mind as we navigate through this new relationship. Family dynamics can be difficult. Feelings get hurt, and people get frustrated, but if we keep a tone of forgiveness between us, we will get through.

Your wedding was so precious. I loved how much it glorified God. I knew the mother-son dance would be difficult for me. Not because I felt sad, but because I had one last chance to hold him in my arms for that long. When will that moment ever come around again? I am certain God invented that dance just to be kind to moms. For five minutes I held him, and pretended he was still my little Beau. Nothing could interrupt us. I didn’t care who was there watching. All I saw was my boy, and memories of our times together passed through my mind. I closed my eyes and thanked God [for] giving him to us. I thanked God for holding him close. And I thanked God for blessing him with you. It was a moment I will always cherish. 

Welcome to our family. We hope you feel accepted, and loved. Because you are….

Love,

Your Mom-in-law

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Michelle Lindsey
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Michelle Lindsey is a Jesus-loving wife of more than two decades and a homeschooling mom of four who blogs about what happens when romance meets reality (with her adult daughter!) at Nitty Gritty Love. You can find more Nitty Gritty Love on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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