Love doesn’t always say ‘yes.’
Love doesn’t always agree.
Love doesn’t always give in.
Love doesn’t always back down.
Love doesn’t always avoid discipline.
Love doesn’t always do everything for you.
Love doesn’t always go with the flow.
Love doesn’t give you everything you want.
Love doesn’t always clear the path laid out in front of you.
Sorry kids, but love doesn’t make sure your life is always easy. Love doesn’t make sure your life is always everything you want it to be. Love doesn’t fix your problems for you, or excuse your bad behavior, or pretend like you can do no wrong.
Love doesn’t let you get away with everything. Love doesn’t buy you everything. Love doesn’t pretend like the rain doesn’t exist.
Love teaches you to dance in the rain. Love teaches you that after it rains, flowers tend to bloom best. Love holds your hand in the rain, and hugs you during the rain, and continues to love you after the rain is gone.
Love lets you struggle, not so you hurt, but so you learn to get back up. Love lets you get knocked down when you err, not so you stay down, but so you learn grit and how to grow. Love lets you fail, not so you lose your confidence, but so you learn that failure is a friend—the kind of friend that shows you how to do it better the next time.
Love lets you make mistakes, not so you mess up, but so you learn the beauty of molding yourself into something new. Love lets you know when you’re wrong, not so you’re criticized, but so you learn to be wrong a little less.
I wish it wasn’t this way. I wish I could do everything for you. I wish I could paint the world in sunshine and roses and rainbows. I wish I could make it, so you’d never hurt. I wish I could make it, so you’d never have to climb mountains, or be disappointed, or have your heart broken.
But the world doesn’t work that way.
If I never let you hurt, you’d never know how to heal. If I made everything easy, you’d never know how to work hard. If I did everything for you, if I paid your way in, if I covered up every misstep you ever took, you would never know you are capable of accomplishing your dreams on your own.
But the world is messy. The world is full of ups and downs. The world is full of beauty and ugly and hard and exhausting. The world is full of differences. The world is full of people who will love you, and some who won’t. The world is full of sunshine and sunshine-takers. The world is full of real things and things that pretend to be real. The world is full of straight, and easy, and paved, and the world is full of bumps and twists and turns.
I love you too much to get in the way of your learning how to navigate the road of life. I love you too much to block you from learning how to water your own lawn and produce your own garden. I love you too much to lie and tell you the sun shines only for you, because kids who think they’re the center of the universe tend to become very disappointed adults.
The truth is, the best part of life is found in finding your own way. The best part of life is finding your own voice and speaking up for yourself. The best part of life is standing back up after you’ve been knocked down, because that’s how you realize you have what it takes to make it.
The truth is, the best part of life is found in looking around and realizing you aren’t the only one who exists, and you aren’t ever alone. Your actions matter. Your words have influence. Your dreams are all part of a bigger plan.
The truth is, the best part of life is waking up and finding freedom in the fact that you were born with a purpose, and a part to play. And you’ll never wake up if I do everything for you.
I hope you know it’s hard on me too. I hurt when you hurt. I grieve when you grieve. I cry when you cry. My heart breaks right along with your heart.
But I also hope you know that I’ll stand when you stumble. I’ll hold you when you fall. I’ll stay calm when you feel chaotic. And I will never leave your side. I will never leave the stands when you’re running the race.
I will always, always, no matter what, be your biggest cheerleader. I’ll yell. I’ll hold the sign. I’ll wear a giant, obnoxious button with your face on it.
The greatest lessons you will ever learn are how to lose and keep going, how to be kind in the face of hate, how to work hard when you want to quit, and how to stay strong when everything seems impossible.
Love doesn’t get in the way of you learning those lessons.
Love forgives. Over and over and over.
Love shows the way.
Love never leaves.
There will be days when you probably can’t stand me. There will be days when you think I’m the meanest mom in the world. There will be days when it seems cruel that I tell you ‘no.’ There will be days you want me out of your way, your hair, and your life.
But I love you. With my heart. With my soul. With my everything. And I will never leave your side. Not when you are standing still. Not when you’re way out in the lead. Not when you are lagging behind. Not when you’ve fallen down. Not ever.
You are my whole world, and the two most important jobs I will ever do are 1. show you who Jesus is, and 2. show you how to make it in this world.
Sorry, kids. But I’m not sorry.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Instagram here and Twitter here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
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