Today is May 11, 2016. I’m sipping my tea, writing to you from the desk of my workplace in New York City. Yes, The Big Apple; I’ve lived here for three and a half years now. I am 26 years old. I’m not engaged or married, but I write this letter looking toward a future with you in it.
I don’t know when or where I am going to meet you. I don’t know when I’m going to give this to you. What I do know are a few things to be true about you. Things that will never change, no matter the circumstances.
You are, quite simply, a gift.
You make me happier than I ever thought could be. I wondered about you for years and years. Now you’re here, and I don’t know how I lived my life without you.
I spent a long time—too much time—wrestling with fear and doubt, with voices in my head that made me feel unworthy. I listened to those statements. I heard lies that I wasn’t worthy because I wasn’t enough—successful enough, smart enough, pretty enough, good enough. I had my heart broken and discarded. I felt alone, and I didn’t love the woman I was.
That season of my life was difficult, painful, sad. It included many ups and downs. I didn’t know how I’d make it out of the darkness. A family of my own seemed like such a silly desire when I couldn’t seem to take care of myself. I wasn’t sure if I would ever have you. So I put that dream on a shelf, tucked away and collecting dust without much hope for a future.
But I want to tell you today that that season ended. The cold, dark winter melted away, and the world felt a little more like springtime. I began to blossom. I began to hope. I found faith in a God who never really left me, who continually called me back to Him. He watched over me all those years; He was writing my story in the most beautiful way. He gave me new life that I might one day share that life with you.
Soon enough, the darkness dissipated, the depression diminished, and my anxieties started to fade. Light crept in, slowly but surely illuminating my world once again.
And I took that dream off the shelf.
I dreamt of you, daughter. I dreamt of your big, bright eyes; your curly hair; your sweet smile and infectious laugh. I dreamt of your tender heart, your wisdom beyond your years, and your generous spirit. I dreamt of the radiant beauty that stemmed from deep down in your soul.
I dreamt of how I would speak to you, teach you, care for you. The more I dreamt of you, the more I began to love myself. Because dreaming of you helped me think of the woman I was designed to be: wholehearted and full of grace. I thought about how I would care for you and point you back to the Father. I will never lie to you, or say that you are unworthy. I will never tell you that you need to be smarter, be prettier, be better, be more. I can promise you that. So why would I listen to those lies myself? You helped me start to abandon the sneaky slanderers and deceivers who set up camp in my head. Dreaming of you meant I no longer had room for the manipulators in my life. I started sending them away, filling the newfound space instead with truth. I filled the space with God and with you.
I dreamt that you, too, would stand firmly in the light.
I know there will be times when you experience your own hardship on this earth. The world might try to hurt you. It might even try to break you down. You’re going to fall and feel weak. You’re going to fail. But you have steadfast strength and courage within you. That’s the Holy Spirit. You are a soldier, able to fight any battle with grace and fortitude. Stand firm in who you are. Remember the things that really matter in this life. Remember that your identity is secure in our great God. Set your heart on all that sheds light.
Your dad and I cherish you more than anything. We praise God for your existence. We know you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are lovely in all your imperfections. You are gifted uniquely and with great purpose—nothing about you is a mistake. From your head to your toes, you are counted as a blessing.
We are here for you no matter what, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable something might be. You encourage us and make us better people just by being you. I’m incredibly grateful for you, and I’m honored to call you mine. I admire you and look at you with more joy than I ever knew possible.
I want you to know one more truth, daughter: Christ’s perfect love casts out all fear. He loves us so deeply—so flawlessly—that He enables us to love you in return. I strive to reflect His love to you each day so that you, too, know He’s calling you into His arms, guiding you and protecting you every step of the way.
I love you, sweet girl.
If you want to talk more about Jesus Christ and faith and what-the-heck-is-all-this-stuff, shoot me a message. I love meeting new people, whether virtually or in person, and gabbing about life.
And if you'd like to know more of my story, you can read my testimony here.
Truly, He makes beautiful things.