Mother of the Bride

by | May 28, 2020 | Parenting, Surrender

Tears came to my eyes as the lines of Pacabel’s Canon climbed to a thundering climax and the audience rose in eager anticipation of their first glimpse of the bride. I could already imagine the shimmering white dress, the dark curls, the sweet smile that lit up her delicate features and added a familiar spark to the bright eyes I knew so well. I sighed as my mind review the over the past five years. I didn’t deserve the place of honor she had granted me today . . .

I had always dreamed of having a daughter. Though I loved my boys dearly, my heart had never stopped yearning for a girl to raise. Then my husband’s 19-year old niece came to live with us, and I knew God had granted me the desire of my heart.

She needed me at first. She didn’t speak the language. She needed help with immigration. She couldn’t get a job. Then she became deathly ill and we nearly lost her. Throughout it all, I was right there to lavish her with the best of my mothering skills.

But things gradually started changing. She recovered from her illness and her English improved. She started school, made some friends-even got a job-all without me! I doubled, even tripled my “mothering”, desperately trying to hang on, desperately trying to make her see that she still needed me! But it didn’t work and our relationship soured.

When she told me she was moving out, I was hurt and I couldn’t hide it. How could she do this to me? How could she so blatantly reject all that I had tried to pour into her? I began nursing my injured pride by telling myself that she just didn’t want me. I refused to see her new apartment. I even made sure I wasn’t home the day she left. And things between us quickly went from bad to worse.

Her first fateful announcement came just a few weeks later: “I’ve met someone!” This was followed closely by her second: “We’re getting married!” And the third: “We bought a house. We’re moving in together.”

I didn’t like or trust her boyfriend. The whole relationship was a mistake, and I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see it! I felt it was my motherly duty to tell her how wrong she was, but when I did, our relationship became frosty.

Then one day as I was crying out to the Lord, a still, small voice whispered in my ear: “Let go, Lyn! Let go, and let God!”

It was hard, but I knew He was right. I had to let her go.

Things didn’t improve immediately, but when God had brought me to the place where I could love her unconditionally and let her make her own decisions whether I agreed with them or not, the ice started to melt. Other changes began happening as well. She found a church that she was comfortable attending. She sought a relationship with God. She broke up with her fiancé. She made some Christian friends. Overall, her choices began to reflect a mature, God-based life.

Then she once again had an announcement to make: “I’ve met someone!”

Her new boyfriend was different from the first. He was a wonderful man who loved her and treated her the way she deserved to be treated. And now this same man stood at the front of the church, his face aglow in eager expectation.

When she appeared the audience gasped. She was a picture of perfection, chiseled out by God’s own hand. Suddenly it all made sense to me. She had never needed me to mother her. What she had needed was an aunt who cared enough to pray. It was only by letting go and letting God that this elegant creature had been given her chance to bloom, and it was only by letting go that I now stood up as the Mother of the Bride.

Lyn Chaffart


Mother of the Bride