Tomorrow is a bittersweet day (May 4, 2015). Are you familiar with those kinds of distinctive days? The sort of day that you know once it arrives; your life will be forever different? Yeah, tomorrow, Monday, May 4 will be one of those days for me. My oldest, my beautiful daughter will be 14. I am writing this to her, but also to the hearts of all young ladies. I will try to get through this without crying…too much;). There are so many things I want her to know before she graduates. Here are 3 Important Things I Want My Daughter To Know.
I know this is an extra long post, but I am sure you will find nuggets of treasure here as I open my heart to you, my readers. **This post was written in 2015…and it still makes me cry.
My precious daughter,
It just seems like the other day I was holding you in my arms, uncertain of how to care for a baby. I worried about messing you up. I wasn’t sure if I could do this whole mommy thing. Although, that’s all I ever really wanted. Believe me; I worked hard to convince your dad to start a family! I wanted you so badly but when I got you I just felt so insecure and unconfident. That was 14 years ago.
There are still some things I am uncertain about, but I have grown in confidence with the mommy thing! That confidence comes only from God…and seeing the fruit being cultivated in my children.
As you travel this sometimes turbulent era of adolescence, I want to reassure you of a couple of things.
You Aren’t Invisible
I hear your heart in what you are trying to say when you mention that the boys don’t talk to you. I know you aren’t interested in having a boyfriend and you don’t want a crush (I am so thankful for this!). But you do want to be noticed. By the boys.
You know girls this age aren’t exactly the kindest, which is more of a heart issue than an issue of age. So being friends with boys seems more appealing. But you still desire to be feminine and be noticed by them.
I know. I understand.
And trust me, they do notice you. And as you get older, they will notice you even more. One year after writing this post and I see that they notice you!
Let’s get real here, ok? I’m not the kind of mom who pretends hormones aren’t starting to come into play here. You are getting older. Part of getting older is the attraction and interest in the opposite sex. I will not shame you for this. I will not sweep it under the rug. And I certainly won’t ignore it. Stuffing and ignoring life changes is not healthy and will only open your heart up to the enemy’s lies.
I Won’t Pretend
I won’t try and tell you that boys are bad and they want only one thing – yes, many do, but there are still many who are being raised by godly parents. These are the guys who will be seeking a godly wife one day. There are good, godly young men out there. They are hard to find, but they are there. Now is the time to begin seeing the difference – you’ll know.
I don’t want to lend power to the lie that you are controlled by your hormones. That’s just not truth. I want to acknowledge the changes you are going through, but help you to remain focused on the woman God is creating you to be. Your hormones and physical changes do not define you. Jesus does.
Therefore, let’s just talk about all of this stuff.
Yes, we’ve already had many intimate conversations and you have shared fears and concerns with me that I remember having as a young woman but could never even dream of talking to anyone about – I was so full of shame. And I know just being comfortable talking to me about these things – and knowing you are very normal – has brought comfort to your heart. I will be your safe place. I promise. Your heart will always be safe with me.
Tomorrow, for your birthday, your daddy will take you out to a lovely dinner. I pray that you will feel so cherished and loved by him. That you will feel so special and that you will catch a glimpse of his love for you, and in turn the love Jesus has for you. I know there is nothing more your daddy wants than to display the love of your Heavenly Father to you.
Embrace Your Body
As you grow into a young woman, you will find parts of your body that you don’t particularly like. And somehow, these ‘flaws’ overcome the rest. They seem to magnify like they are under a microscope!
Can we be real here, too? We’ve all got things about our bodies that we wish were different. All of us. BUT – the key is to try and not focus on those things. I remember when I turned 40. I found a photo of me on my 30th birthday. My first thought was “Hey, I was actually quite pretty!” And you know how I feel about photos of myself.
So, for me to have that kind of first thought is a miracle in itself. But I also remembered how I felt about my body when I turned 30. I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself back then. I wish I had just appreciated how I looked when I was younger. And I know had fewer wrinkles (I know you think I don’t have any now, but I do), fewer age spots (maybe I didn’t have any!), I was slimmer, I am sure my thighs weren’t as big…but that’s the way it is.
What have I learned from that? To pine away for my 30-year-old body?
I have learned to appreciate my body now. When I turn 50, I don’t want to look back to when I was 40 and remember that I felt awful about the way I looked. I want to remember that I was content regardless of how I looked. Be happy with your appearance. Don’t be hard on yourself, my dear girl. It’s just not worth it.
What I See
I also want you to know what I see when I look at you. You see the ‘flaws’ (which aren’t truly flaws, they are you). But I see this gorgeous young woman who is incredibly statuesque.
Yeah, I know we aren’t supposed to focus on outward beauty. That will all pass away. But, if we want to be real, we will need to address these struggles and challenges. It is a battle. A constant one.
Culture will tell us beauty is one thing. They have only one idea of ‘beauty’ – and it is a false idea. We know this. We get it.
But I don’t want to simply dismiss this struggle for it is real. The question is what are we going to do with it? How do we manage it? How do we look at it in a healthy way? I know you already know the answer to that question.
The answer is in your response to the cross.
Be Bold And Be Beautiful
The thing that makes you beautiful beyond measure is your boldness in your love for Christ. I am so proud of the young woman of God you are. You have devoted your heart to Him. I am confident of this.
You’ve had your heart broken. Those times have also broken my heart. To have seen you hurt. To have seen you cry. That was almost unbearable for me.
But I also watched as you took the shards of your heart to the Healer. You laid those broken pieces at the foot of the cross and you waited expectantly. As you knelt at His feet, you allowed Him to put those pieces back together. You allowed Him to make you whole again, you trusted in His faithfulness to redeem.
And He did.
And that new, reforged heart is so beautiful. It is that heart that has brought forth such gentle and quiet boldness. You display such compassion for those who hurt you. You have godly wisdom beyond your age. This is the result of allowing God to cultivate and breathe LIFE into your heart and soul.
You are a princess of the Most High King. You are royalty. My beautiful daughter, you are irreplaceable.
A Special Word
I asked God for a passage to share with you and this one immediately came to mind. I don’t believe it was an accident. This is what I believe – it is a prophetic word for you.
God has called you, my beautiful girl, to do his work for His kingdom. I believe that through your life, many young women will come to know the Saviour. I don’t know how and I don’t know when. But I believe God has great plans for your life. His radiance already shines through you. Like a robe of many colours!
Wear that robe with honour and reverence.
Do not be ashamed of His story of your life.
For my readers,
This is just a tiny glimpse into the relationship I have with my kids. I appreciate that you have taken a bit of extra time out of your day to read it. I am so honoured to be able to share such things with you.
Photo credit for professional photos – Camillia Courts Photography, Vernon, BC