Friday, March 14, 2014

A Letter to My Daughter(s)

Hi Honey,

I want to clear the air.  This morning, in the car, we had a difficult conversation.  We talked a lot about a long-standing struggle and you might think I was mad at you.  I was not at all.  How could I be mad at someone for struggling?  That would be the same thing as being mad at you when you don't understand math or reading.

There's no room for anger, at you anyway, in this situation. You are growing into your understanding of the way the world works.  That's who I was really mad at - the world.  I was mad at the enemy of our souls because he uses what the world tells you to make you feel bad about yourself.

Let's just go ahead and agree there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with you.

You get embarrassed when you have to stand out.  You believe you are shy because what happened to you made you different.  In my natural knowledge, my life experience as a person, I could tell you all of us feel that way.  I could counsel you on how to cope with feeling insecure.  I would tell you it is a problem you will have to struggle with all your life - the feeling of measuring up to everyone else's standards.

But if I did that, I would be denying all the work Christ has done in my life.  I would remain stunted in my growth because I'd be denying Him, His work on the Cross and on Easter Sunday.  I'd be denying the message He delivered His whole life on Earth.  He came to tell us we are loved and when we trust Him, there is no longer anything wrong with us.  He wanted to show us that in Him, as His family, we no longer define ourselves by the standards of others.  What God the Father, alone, thinks of us is what matters.

Since I've dedicated my life to Him, I should probably stick to what I believe, don't you think?

That's why I talk about Him so much.  That's why I write about Him. He has changed me, completely and constantly.  He is worth talking about all the time, even though one day, you might get tired of hearing it.  (I'm still going to talk about Him, though)

Let me share with you a recent example.  Do you know why Mommy started swimming again - I mean the REAL reason?

It will sound weird but God told me too.  One day, while we were living in Italy, He dropped in my heart a desire to get back in the pool.  You see, the pool is where I've always felt strong.  It is where I feel focused.  I feel connected to the real me - the beautiful me - when I'm under the water.  After I swim, I feel so good.  I may not look any different on the outside (yet) but trust me when I tell you, God gave me a talent for swimming and I am happiest when I'm using that talent well.

I told you I know how you feel.  For a long, long time, I let other people tell me who I was.  I let them tell me I was fat, stupid, lazy, clumsy, incapable of doing anything right and ugly.  The sad news is I believed them!!  They told me what I was doing with my life didn't matter.  They may not have said it out loud, but I knew they thought that by the way they treated me.  Instead of loving me, the world gave me all these rules to follow to be the "best Me."  I never seemed to get or stay there for long.

It wasn't until a few years ago the Lord showed me following those rules only hurt me.  They only kept me from understanding who I really was - His child; His daughter: the apple of His eye.  He showed me how unique I was, how He'd made me just the way I was supposed to be: tall, strong. funny, smart and beautiful.  He revealed to me in kindness the real truth about my real self.  He showed me living life His way wasn't hurtful.  His rules only helped me grow, in a good way.  He used you, your sisters and your Daddy most of all.

You know, I'm not perfect.  But in God's eyes, perfection isn't necessary.  It's our hearts that matter - how we respond to His love that makes all the difference.  We don't have to be perfect and we can feel good about our lack of perfection.  We know a perfect God who loves us perfectly.

No, I wasn't mad at you.  I was mad at the devil for whispering lies to you.  I was mad at the world for shouting "You aren't good enough" already.  I got mad because you believe the worst about yourself at such a young age.  That's not what I want for you, that's not what Daddy wants for you either.  It is also the exact opposite reason of why Jesus lived, died and rose again.

This is not self-help.  You will probably find out that "self-help" doesn't last very long, even though everyone will tell you, "God helps those who help themselves."  Yeah, that's not in the Bible. 

God helps those who help themselves to Him.

This is soul-help.  You are worthy.  Not on your own but in Christ Jesus. He makes you worthy and He makes you better.  Your spirit is just fine and your body isn't the problem either.  It's your soul, that inner you that thinks and feels.  It's the part of you that is hurt.  But you don't have to listen to the hurt. 

You can listen to the hope of the One who made you.

The hurtful voices seem like they are the loudest, but there is only 1 or 2 of them.  The still, quiet voices are greater in number by far.  Listen to me.  Listen to your sisters.  Especially listen to Daddy.  Listen to your grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  Listen to the hundreds of people who've prayed for you, who see your pictures on my Facebook page and comment how beautiful and sweet you are.  Listen to what The Lord, Your Creator, Your Savior - says about you.  You are:
  • His Child (1 Peter 1:23)
  • His Temple (1 Cor 6:19)
  • His Beloved (Song of Solomon 6:3)
  • Precious (Deut 32:1, Ps 17:8)
  • Redeemed (Gal 3:13)
  • Forgiven (Eph 1:7, Col 1:14)
  • His Friend (John 15:5)
  • Powerful (John 14:12, Col 1:12, 2 Tim 1:7, Rev 12:11)
  • Free (John 8:31, Rom 8:1)
  • Blessed (Deut 28:1-4, Gal 3:9)
I could go on and on.  I know you are a little young to understand what all of this means, but my prayer for you is that you will grow into this identity - who you are in Christ - not who the world already tells you you are.

I love you, my dearest one.  You are a princess, a daughter of the King, even if you aren't really into that idea anymore.  It is still true and will always be.  We have been through so much together as a family.  It breaks my heart to know you've carried this hurt.  But I tell you now, you don't have to carry this burden any longer; it isn't who you are.  I see the real you - and so does Jesus.  When those voices tell you to be ashamed of who you are, all you have to say is,

That's not true.  Jesus loves me and that's what matters.

Love Always, Forever, my incredible one,


1 comment:

Christine Kalmbach said...

What a profound letter! How wonderful for your baby girl to look back on this in the future and recognize God's hand in her life. And that her mom chronicled it! Thank you for being a light to so many, Amy, and including your daughters and all us other daughters! <3 Love this! <3