I’m sitting on the back porch when the car drives in the driveway. I can hear their peals of laughter over the engine. She slams the door, thanks her friend for the ride, then comes in the house where the dog greets her like she’s been gone for years. I’m surprised when tears prick my eyes, fast and furious.
My daughter is weeks away from turning 16. She’s hilarious and full of life. She’s asking big questions and maturing faster than I can keep up with. Each day she loves Jesus more. This middle child of mine has been a mystery to me for so many years—strong willed and difficult, testing my patience too many times to count. Those days have not disappeared, but they’ve dwindled exponentially. When I look at her now, I’m in awe.
She finds me on the porch and doesn’t seem to notice my tears. Her eyes sparkle as she tells me what she’s been up to, and soon we’re both laughing.
How could I ever express what it means to me to have a front row seat to her life?
Frederick Buechner’s words echo in my mind: “Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go next.”
I watch my daughter’s joy, and I feel it in my bones: No matter what, I would never give up on her. Whatever happens, I have her back. There will be more hard seasons, but I’m in this for the long haul. I hear a whisper in my heart and I realize this is the way God feels about me. So often I stumble and struggle, digging in my heels. And yet He keeps on leading me, one step at a time. He doesn’t give up, doesn’t turn His back, or roll His eyes. He keeps on forgiving, keeps on loving, keeps on delighting in me. It’s an undeserved, lavish gift.
What are your tears telling you today? Maybe it’s time to listen to God’s secret of who you are and where He might be leading you.