My Darling Girl,
Thirteen years ago, when you were placed on my chest, warm, wet, and full of life I did not see this moment. I only saw my first born baby girl with perfect bow-shaped lips and tiny fingers and toes. I felt the intense rush of motherly love burn fierce and hot in my chest to the point that for just a moment, I could not breathe. I held you tightly and inhaled baby smells and at that moment, we became a family. But I did not see how quickly the years would rush by me. One on top of another, faster and faster. Birthdays and bounce houses, hair bows and Converse, first crushes, contacts, braces, hormones. An avalanche of life lived between sleepless nights, made possible only by Jesus and copious amounts of coffee. I did not see the moment where I am now, watching you balance on this thresh hold before us. Between womanhood and childhood, you stand. Oh, linger just a little longer, sweet girl and let me share a little of my heart for you, with you.
In a few short years you will more than likely be ready to tumble out of our little tree and into the world. We’re doing our best to prepare your heart and spirit for the journey ahead. We try to live out our faith by example, to pour truth into your spirit to be used as a roadmap and the Word into your heart to light your way when the path is dark and hard to see. I pray that no matter where that path leads you that Jesus remains the captain of your soul and the very anchor to which you cling.
My hope is that you also would remember that your dress size, your bank account, and your address are all just numbers that change and fluctuate with the seasons of your life but who you are in Christ is as certain as the rising of the sun. The fact that you were made exquisitely in the image of Him who created all, will never change. Your worth is summed up not in monetary treasure, physical ability, or beauty but in the simple fact that you are of great worth to Him. Pay no heed to the voices of this world, that pull and scream and try to tell you what beauty and success look like. Strive instead to abide by the identity that you have in Jesus which comes with a great peace that no one or nothing can diminish.
I pray that you will be challenged, provoked, and stirred throughout your life. That complacency would never be your friend and that you will remember that life owes you nothing. Precious things, things of substance and great value must be sought after, worked for, and dug out. I pray that God will surround you with Godly friends and those that will also sharpen and provoke your faith, strengthen your walk and remind you that our ultimate goal in this life is to become like Christ.
Which leads me to this final thought on your birthday – When we become like Christ we love like Him. Compassion and dignity should be second nature to us. Remember the advice given in James, “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.” Be even quicker to forgive. Prefer your brothers and sisters. Bear the burdens of those around you. Respect boundaries and set your own. Always say what you mean and mean what you say. Live out the Word of God and above all, stand for truth, even if it appears you stand alone. Because you are never alone. When you stand for truth, all of heavens army backs you. And ultimately, truly loving others like Christ means speaking the truth with all grace and kindness. You won’t always be liked or popular but neither was Jesus. You’re in good company.
As I watch you now, feeling your way through adolescence, I stand in amazement at the young woman you have become. What a gift you are! Your beautiful tender heart, your inquisitive mind, your tenacious spirit. My girl, so full of passion and determination, I am proud to be your mother. Never forget how much you are loved. You may tumble out of the nest but always remember that wherever Daddy and I are there is a safe place to land. Happy birthday to my teenager.