My sweet daughter,
They say when you become a mom you lose yourself. But, I’d have to disagree. When I became your mom, I found myself. I found a reason for being a more fervent believer, a more loving wife, a more patient mom, a more empowered woman, and a more forgiving person. I found the meaning of unconditional love, a love that can only be explained by being a parent. This unconditional love has changed my heart and made it a warmer and softer place. I pray that I never stop being inspired by you, and that my arms are always a safe place for you to lay your head.
These past years you have brought so much joy and love into the lives of so many people during a time when joy and love are seemingly scarce.
You have reminded me of God’s constant love, fulfilled promises, eternal hope, and answered prayers. The Bible tells us that hope and joy are direct derivatives of trial and tribulation. So, I’m not going to say that it was always easy. There have been some days (and long nights) that were really tough. My patience was tested, I doubted myself, and I was physically and mentally drained. There were hours where I didn’t know how to keep you from crying, so I just shed tears alongside you. However, it was in these moments that I truly saw how strong and loving your daddy is and how the commitment he and I made to each other, before you, is even stronger now.
As much as I’d love to protect you from heartbreak, suffering, rejection, hate and judgement I can’t.
What I can promise you, my daughter, is that your daddy and I will always speak the truth in love and be a soft place for you to land when things get hard. Sometimes that love may not look like love, and it may be even harder for us than it is for you, but I promise we will never do anything that isn’t from a loving and faithful place.
While I am far from having it all figured out, I have learned a few things in my years, so I’ll close with a couple words of advice.
- Have faith and stay strong in that. The love I have for you is unconditional, cannot be broken and is bigger than you realize, but the love God has for you is even bigger and stronger. It’s a love our minds can’t even grasp. If you have faith, you will never be alone and you will always be loved.
- Seek wisdom, the truth, adventure and love (though not necessarily in that order).
- Ask questions, even if they’re hard.
- Always hold the door open for the person behind you.
- Stop to pick the flowers and pet the dog; never let anything rob you of those little joys.
- Stand up for what is right, even if it doesn’t look “right” to others.
- There is something magical about the crescent moon. And no matter where you are, it will always connect you to me.
- Never settle for an idea of “love” if it doesn’t feel right, even if it takes longer than you think. He’s worth the wait, I promise.
- It’s okay to spend a few years in your 20s being reckless. But never let that take over your life or make you lose sight of what’s important. Use those years to help you establish your boundaries, goals, faith, non-negotiables and sense of self.
- Don’t fall for the lie that we’re self-sufficient and independent. None of us are. The sooner you realize this, the deeper your faith can become.
- I may kick myself later for saying this one (don’t abuse it when you’re a teenager), but hold your dad and I accountable. We’re not perfect and I sure hope we never pretend to be. We will make mistakes.
- This world is bound to break your heart, my sweet daughter. And that’s ok. It’s how you respond after your heart is broken that truly matters (refer to the first bullet).
Until the day you have a daughter of your own, you’ll never fully understand how much I love you.
Always and forever,
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