Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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Thank You, Mom, For Letting Me Go

I was always a free spirit. Seeking adventure, craving excitement. I wanted to learn more and experience new things.

You were not the same. You sought consistency and comfort. Your main role in our family was to provide a safe and sacred home, where we all knew we were loved and protected.

I can only imagine the challenge that I was as a child. Not just because of my strong personality and inquisitive nature, but because of our clash of values.

You wanted to cook my favorite foods, but I loved trying new ones. You wanted to be needed by me, but I fought so hard to be independent. You wanted me to hold onto my roots, but I insisted on planting elsewhere.

I thought it was my right, to go and do and see.

When I called you from my college dorm room and asked if I could travel to Haiti, I could hear the reservation in your voice. It was unfamiliar territory for you. A huge leap of faith. And I rolled my eyes when you hesitated to say yes.

I still remember the day I returned from that trip, showing you the pictures of all the children I had held hands with and sung songs with and played games with. The kids with no parents and that had to drink muddy water. My heart was so full. But even through the pain of consenting, I think your heart was full, too.

You looked at me with such knowing eyes, and told me that this was what I was made to do.

Thank you, Mom, for letting me go.

mothers day

Thank you for loving me enough to let me try new things. Perhaps I’ve never lacked confidence, but you’ve also never restrained me. I have believed I could do anything in the world, and I know it’s because you allowed me to try.

When I wanted to start my own key chain business in the 4th grade, you took me to Wal-Mart to buy all the string I could afford.

When I tweezed my own eyebrows for the first time, you kept your mouth shut about how ridiculous I looked.

When I ran for class president, fully knowing I was going to lose, you still bought boxes of donuts so I could bribe more people for votes.

When I wanted to travel to Africa alone one summer, you never told me how ignorant that decision was.

When I wanted to deliver my first child naturally, you smiled and said, Good luck.

Never once have I felt that there was a mountain I couldn’t climb. A challenge I couldn’t defeat. An obstacle I couldn’t overcome.

You’ve been my biggest cheerleader all along.

But now that I’m a mother myself, I understand just a tiny amount of how much this all must hurt.

I want my baby girl to be like me. To like what I like and do what I do.

What sacrificial love you’ve had for me, your daughter who chases after dreams that are only your biggest nightmares.

How do you know how to love me? How do you always know what I need? Our lives are so very different, between small towns and big cities, familiar foods and ethnic cuisines, Southern dialect and Asian characters.


My mind is overflowing with thoughts of you today, as you package up a box to send across the world.

It would be so much easier to be my mother down the street, babysitting your granddaughter and calling me after work. Instead we resort to scheduled Skype meetings and Instagram posts.

It would have always been easier to keep me close. To pick me up every time I cried and limit my experiences abroad. To fight my battles and take credit for my successes.

But you’ve allowed me to be independent. You’ve watched me cry when friendships were strained, and pushed me to mend things myself. You’ve watched me fail at personal goals, and encouraged me to try again. You’ve championed me on with every achievement, and expected me to work toward even greater victories.

I am only who I am today because you forced yourself to let me go.

I thought it was my right. To go and do and see.

But now I know it was your sacrifice of control that allowed me to be the person I was to be.


 “I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for.
And now I have dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.”
1 Samuel 1:27-28 (MSG)



Sharon PinkstonApril 25, 2014 - 10:26 am

Oh Lauren, what sweet words! I love you and Lisa so much.

Tina Tinasewingplace ColemanApril 25, 2014 - 11:17 am

Perfect letter for your mom . So awesome a story. So happy to know both of you.

Doris Ann Harris FittsApril 25, 2014 - 11:41 am

Beautiful mother’s day tribute <3

Alicia HassmanApril 25, 2014 - 12:18 pm

What sweet words from ur heart…I too have a daughter like u-Maecy. She is 13…I too know how challenging it is to b “your mom” :) Oh how she has had stomach aches and all night prayers for u I’m sure….but u know SHE loves u…and SHE knows that as much as she loves u-God loves u even more. I feel encouraged this morning to continue to let Macey be Maecy…Thank u for sharing your thoughts of ur beautiful mom…♡♡♡ from Tennessee; )

Amber Curlee BarrettApril 25, 2014 - 12:59 pm

So so so good! love you and your sweet Mom.

Freda Turner Donald TurnerApril 25, 2014 - 1:41 pm

Beautiful !!!!

Janet Donnell BaneApril 25, 2014 - 2:07 pm

Beautiful (as I read through tears) ..

Teresa A. FarlessApril 25, 2014 - 3:50 pm

Beautiful and of course I am wrapping tears just feeling your sweet mother reading these beautiful words. Thank you I so need this today.

Jane Edwards BooneApril 25, 2014 - 4:00 pm

Beautiful! So good that you can see her love for you,understanding this will help you to be a better mother also,but you already know that.

Tina HickmanApril 25, 2014 - 6:21 pm

Oh my Lauren this is so sweet and beautiful and SO true. You have a wonderful mother and sometimes it just takes growing up and experiencing a little more of life to realize what a treasure you have been
blessed with. Love you :)

Sandra HensonApril 25, 2014 - 8:49 pm

This is so sweet!

Lori HarrisApril 25, 2014 - 9:29 pm

How touching and inspirational.

Willa DeBerryApril 25, 2014 - 11:17 pm

You are such a blessing to the young women today, and to us older mothers as we have experienced the “letting go” of our precious children. Thank you Lauren. For your beautiful example. God Bless you in your Christian teaching.

Shelly Teague BarnesApril 26, 2014 - 3:47 am

What sweet words and such a beautiful tribute to your mom. If only you can strive to be like her. She is a precious jewel.

Cathy Rose SmithApril 27, 2014 - 6:32 am

Beautiful words from a wise young woman – wise beyond your years. May God bless your family.