A Parent’s Blessing
Early in my adult life, my parents started the habit of calling me on Sunday nights. My dad would ask me how work was going, and my mom and I would talk gardening and share stories about my siblings, nieces, and nephews. My parents would tell me about their travels, which often revolved around their latest bicycle adventures or my dad’s escapades with his car racing buddies. We always ended our phone calls with a round of I love yous.
As I got older and the window closed for me on getting married and having children, I not only grieved for my own loss, but I also felt some guilt for not having provided my parents with grandchildren. No one ever put that guilt on me, ever, but I carried it nonetheless.
I remember it as being February or March one year, although I wouldn’t be able to prove it, when out of the blue in one of our phone calls my dad essentially said, “Christine, I am really proud of who you are.” I was 42, and I choked up at hearing those words. My father had just blessed me. He had affirmed me out loud for who I was–not for what position I held in my career or any tangible accomplishment at all. Just for who I was. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. Gone was any guilt I unnecessarily felt for not having extended the family line. My dad loved me for who I was.
In August of that year, my dad died in a sudden and unexpected way. It didn’t take many of us very long to see God’s hand in the circumstances of his death, and for me his passing occurred without any tinge of unfinished business.
My mom and I carry on the tradition of talking by phone on Sunday nights. In fact, I am typing this having talked with her just a few minutes ago. We talk life and bicycling and gardening, and more often than not, we share stories with each other about how God worked in our lives that week–the little ways He showed up, blessing each other with these accounts of who we are in Christ.
There are few greater gifts: Have you told your children and loved ones out loud that you love them for who they are?
To learn how God the Father blessed Jesus out loud, see the devotion on Words of Affirmation, devotion 2 in the series Getting to Know Jesus.Print