I never wanted a daughter. Being a young girl once and currently having a ministry that caters to young women, I was all too aware of the pitfalls and trials that accompany having a daughter. And to be frank, I didn’t want any of that.
In God’s great irony, he gave me a little girl of my own. A chubby, joyful, fearless and determined beautiful mess of thing whom I’d fight heaven and earth to protect.
Before she was born, I wrote her a letter. One that I hope she’ll read as she grows and that she can cling to when the world and I let her down. Because every girl big and small needs to know just how treasured they are:
As the morning light bursts through the cracks in my blinds, I am reminded that ‘His mercies are new every morning.’ Today is a gift and you are a part of today which means you too are a gift. So before your eyes open and welcome the dawn of a new day, know that you are treasured. You were treasured long before I even knew you. Your name was set, your identity given and your future written. You were loved before breath entered your lungs and before your heart even took its first beat. Penelope, there is nothing greater I want you to know than this; that you are loved by me and loved by a God whose ove has no limits. Each day has its challenges, but HIS mercies are new every morning as is our love for you.
When you open your eyes to this world you will see there is a lot of things it is going to try tell you. Don’t believe them. You don’t have to be ashamed of being a woman or having (or not having) curves. You don’t need to be embarrassed by getting a period early or later than others. You don’t have to be ashamed for desiring sex and the opposite gender. You were created in this body and this body is beautiful. Beauty is not defined by a perfect dress size or flawless skin. Beauty comes from seeing yourself the way HE sees you…and He thinks you’re perfect. He says that your beauty comes from the state of your heart and the way you place it over to Him. Let Him define you, not them. For they only know a fleeting beauty, and that is why they are never content with who they are. But you, Penelope, you ARE beautiful. You were crafted by loving hands, created for a purpose far greater than you could fathom. Let Jesus show you and define your beauty. For in Him is all the affirmation you’ll ever need.
As your ears adjust to all the new sounds around you, lies will be told to you. Lies that you are not good enough. Lies that say you will be alone or no one likes you or that happiness is found in a man or a job or a perfect dress. This is the work of the Enemy. He will try to make you feel as though you are stuck where you are-that you did this to yourself and you deserve only the bad and immediate pleasures in life, never the good or longstanding. Train your ears to recognize these lies and ignore them. They are sneaky, so you must always be aware of them and on your guard to defend yourself against them. The best defense? Fill your ears with truth. HIS truth. Read His book and remind yourself of all the ways he loves you and sees you. Remind yourself that His mercies ARE new every morning and that there is hope and redemption when you fail. Fill your mind with the truth that He will always love you, no matter how you stray- you are always welcomed back into His arms.
As you stretch your hands and feet, may you seek to know the work of the Lord. To use your hands and feet to share his name and his love to the world around you. People today want to be idle. They don’t want to work hard. But in hard work, mountains are moved and lives are changed. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty for love. Reach out to the one who is broken and in need. Use your feet to walk with someone who is generally unloveable. Hold tight to His word, for it is the foundation and path on which you should walk. Let him guide your feet and you will never be led astray.
As your mouth yawns with the coming light, may your words be that of love and grace. ‘Out of the mouth the heart speaks,’ so let your speech be the speech of life and not death. Others, including myself, will speak words of death into your life. We will fail you over and over with our actions and our words. We will wound you to the core. Do not let that destroy your heart and your ability to give life through your words. Again, embrace HIS words. Fill up your speech with the things He would have you say and you will find that although the harsh and deadly words of those around you may pierce you, they will not define or destroy you. Use your words to heal, to love, to extend grace and to offer up thanksgiving. For in those words of life, you will find peace.
Lastly, my dear sweet Penelope, as your heart pounds steadily inside your chest, granting you life for this day, I pray you would know who your heart belongs to. Your father and I do not own your heart. No friend, fame, career, success, or even a man can fill your heart up and bring you joy. All are fleeting and all will eventually fail you. But He, your precious Jesus, He will NEVER fail you. He is who your heart was made for. I pray that you would see Him and his love and his grace and that you would realize he is the ONLY person who should have your heart. He will never betray you. He will never lie to you, and he will never ever break your heart in two. By giving Him your heart, you are giving yourself the chance to be all that was dreamed up for you to be so long ago when he spoke your name into being and brought you to life inside me. Let him hold your heart, whisper his name, and cling to his truth.
I love you my sweet daughter. I love you because He loves me and gives me the right, no, the privilege to take care of you while you are here on earth. Any love I have comes from Him. For He is everything. I thank him for you daily. You are the gift I never knew I wanted but have always needed. I love you my sweet daughter, my beautiful Penelope.
Only Because He Loved Me First, Mom