"I love Mom's stories about her life. They're funny and interesting. I'm never going to have stories to tell like hers." So came the innocent whims of my ten year old. Fast forward five years, and now she has stories. Good stories, happy stories and sadly, the kind of stories you wish your kids never have to tell. The stories of how politics can sharpen a friends tongue into a steely knife that wounds with accusations like "racist" and "fanatic" when nothing in your character supports that claim. How mutually assured boundaries around conversations can be breached without warning with a fire of arrows meant to wound and bring death; said in full confidence or ignorance, the blood is still red and the wounds bring pain and distrust, bewildering to a 15 year old-mostly comprehensible to a 40 year old, even in the case when the knife is intended to bring death by a thousand cuts. The cuts hurt, and yet you turn to the one you know can heal. The one who says "love is patient, love is kind, love suffers long and love keeps no record of wrongs." You love deeper, knowing full well that to do so means you will be hurt again. You will be slandered and skewered, mostly for your fundamental beliefs. You love as completely as you are able, and in such, you are only slightly able to comprehend what was meant by "forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing", and also "there is no greater love than this, but that a man would lay down his life for his friend". I want the story of my life to be one of laying down, of setting aside pride, of love. My tongue is the smallest part of my being and yet the most capable of wounding, therefore I pray that god would give me grace to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Keep writing daughter, in the end, your stories will be too wonderful to tell