Josh, I love you and as a parent I want to always be there for you, but I know that life being what it is, circumstances will one day prevent me from being there when you really need me. On that day I want you to remember these words, “Adonai Li Velo Irah.” “God is with me and I will not fear.”
When you were 3 we painted those words together on a pillowcase.
I chose them as a kind of protection for you hoping that by seeing them every night before you fell sleep, they would become a part of you; something you could draw on as you journeyed through your life.
What I want to share with you now is something of what I have come to understand about those words.
On the day you were born I wanted nothing more than to be the best parent I could be; to be the parent G-d intended me to be. Yet I knew my limitations all too well and so I prayed for help.
In the months that followed, I somehow expected to be transformed into this wonderful mother not unlike June Cleaver from the 60’s television show “Leave it to Beaver”. I would be even tempered and sage and have the patience of Job. And I would wear pearls even as I vacuumed the living room.
But we both know that is not the kind of mother I turned out to be.
Yet, I know, that because of G-d’s help, I have become a much better mother than I used to be.
Now when I utter those words I know that I don’t have to fear – not because G-d will miraculously change things in my life and make me into someone I am not – but because I am not alone.
I know that G-d understands my heart, even if no one else does; he knows exactly what I am going through.
I don’t have unending patience. I don’t suffer noblely. And I despair all too often. But because G-d is with me I am also able to get up again, to try again…to look for a solution. He provides me with the strength and inspiration to do that.
He helps me to remember the blessings in my life, to take pleasure in what is good: to see the beauty in a shaft of light, the miracle of an ant crossing my foot, and to marvel at how you can be both a part of your father and I, and a soul this world has never known before.
I trust G-d to stay with me and guide me. And while this trust can be shaken – and often has – it cannot be dissolved. Deep within my heart the echo of those words always rebound.
So now as you begin to move into your own life, please know that you are not alone. Your family is here. Your friends…this community. But most of all, G-d is here. You are a child of his creation, Joshua. His love and strength surrounds you. He has helped me to bring you to this moment. And if you trust him, He will take you the rest of the way.
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