Eleven years ago I gave birth to my son, Manoah. On the day he was born, I made my mom a grandma. The baton of motherhood passed from her hand to mine, and we now held the same name — Mom. I remember seeing her eyes glow as she held my son, perhaps the same way they did when she held me decades before.
Only a few days later, I pulled up to my parents’ house, parked my car, and exhaled in complete exhaustion. My mom was waiting at the front door. Somehow she knew I would be arriving. (Moms have a sixth sense of anticipating their children’s needs.) She hurried out, unbuckled my crying son, brushed her hand across my face, and said, “It’s going to be okay.” With those words, I sobbed right there into the steering wheel.
After a few weeks, I was bouncing my screaming baby in the kitchen. My mom insisted I nurse. I stubbornly snapped back, “I am putting him on a schedule, and I can’t nurse him for 16 more minutes!” I was impatient; she was gracious.
When I became a mom and my mother became a grandma, we both grew and changed. Sometimes it was easy. Sometimes it wasn’t. So often I want relationships to be settled and tied with a nice bow, but that rarely happens. For most of life, the hearts of those we love are like the tide, constantly pulled in and apart from each other. Faith is trusting that God is the commander of the seas bringing even gravity under His authority. He is gently guiding relationships together for good. It is hard to trust that God is at work when relationships are changing and bending in directions that feel different and new. But God is in the fiber of all friendships — even when we don’t feel it, understand it, or see it. He is always kneading hearts together for His glory.
We must trust that the Spirit moves into the secret places of our souls and does a sanctifying work. As transitions take their due time, when things feel “off,” or the other person is silent, cling tightly to God’s promises. God may move us through patches of blindness before we see the entire story. Take heart. His love is relentless to redeem every relationship. Right now is not forever. As relationships carve out new rivers, trust that Jesus is leading each one and everyone to the same ocean of fresh waters.
For new moms and grandmas: offer each other endless amounts of love. Let forgiveness be close on your lips. Let grace be your common ground because you can only grow when you meet each other in the tender soil of love. God is inviting you into a new season.
Grandmas, you are the backbone and greatest support system your daughter (in-law) has. She needs you.
She needs your stories, gentle laughter, and back-pocket recipes.
She needs your hands to hold babies, stir soup, and wash dishes.
She needs you to pick her up when she can’t stop crying and to guide her with your wisdom.
She needs your encouragement when she fails.
She needs your love when she least deserves it.
She needs you to listen.
She need your prayers — prayers for her marriage and for her children. Prayers for resilience, patience, and courage. Please keep praying.
Your daughter (in-law) may not be able to say that she needs you, but she does. Underneath it all, she is still a little girl longing to please you. She needs you to look her in the eyes, hold her face, and say, “My goodness, I am so proud of you.”
When relationships evolve and bend into new roles and identities, let grace guide you, lean deeper into Jesus, and let your groaning be your prayers when you don’t know how to pray. God is with you. He has ordained, ordered, and allowed each relationship to develop into its own unique design. It will not look like anyone else’s. Each relationship is its own beautiful, hand-crafted, and God-created relationship. Trust that God is the Divine drafter of your story and the intersection of your eternal story with others.