We remember the things our mother used to say. And then we catch ourselves: Did I just say THAT?

At the time, I was a just kid and I didn’t get it. My world revolved around the universe made up of me, myself, and I. So we say the things we do because at times it feels like the only recourse we have. All moms wistfully wait for the day when our adult children come up to us at some point, wrap their arms around us and say, “I get it, Mom.” That’s why we pray so much, and worry, and at times lose sleep at night. It is for that “aha” moment when they will realize we weren’t the crazy worrywarts they thought we were all along.

You cannot ever imagine just how much you are able to love another human being until you have a child (or two or three) of your own. The joy, the sorrow, the pride, the hair-raising moments, and the hope that is all rolled into the amazing unexpected journey you are on, from the moment you are handed that cuddly infant, to one day (by God’s grace) you behold them a lovely, admirable adult.

I’ve said that when I became a mother, God surgically removed my heart from its safe cage and placed it somewhere on the outside of my body . . . so very vulnerable. No child knows what that feels like until they have children of their own.

But for every bottle of tears, there is (or will be) a measure of joy so concentrated that it will be worth every moment. And though at times we may second-guess ourselves (Do we go to the emergency room? Do I call the teacher? etc.) and we wonder if we’re qualified for this mom thing or not, as believers in Christ, we have a Savior who gives us His word, His presence, and His power to fulfill this great calling.

I remember the day I walked up to my mom and said, “All those times I made you and Dad worry, I am so, so sorry.” And I can mark the joyous and glorious day when both my boys did the same thing.

So here I am, later in life—now a grandmother—watching the cycle of life repeat itself. There are times I have to restrain myself from running beside the car as my kids drive off with their kids strapped in their car seats and yelling, “Cherish every moment . . . and hang in there!”