She’s a Teenager?!
Today is the big day…Mikaela turns 13. I wanted to share the letter I wrote her for this day, below.
You are at a truly important point in your life as you cross this threshold from child to teenager and down the road toward adulthood.
But we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so today is not only an important day, but a crucial one. Because of that, I wanted to take some time to write these words to you, to impart my blessing on you, to encourage the gifts that I have seen God place and develop in you, and also to give some words of instruction that flow from a heart full of love for you, a wisdom that has come from learning to know God better, and a contrast from the years of my life spent in the loneliness, shallowness, and pain without Him.
Before I can do that, though, I have to acknowledge how much of a blessing you have been to me. Even from before you were born, you held a special place in my heart. You still do, and you always will…especially since we are so similar in so many ways. It is a connection that is hard to put into words, but is almost tangible enough to see and feel sometimes. I hope that connection also helps you to understand this letter far beyond the mere words it holds, because these words come from my heart.
Even more than I have been blessed by you, though, God has blessed you abundantly.
Sensitivity, compassion, and kindness flow naturally from you…most of the time. But like any gift, these must be exercised. I pray you would do just that. Find ways of expressing them. Develop habits that incorporate them. Use them. Build and strengthen them so that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, these traits are seen by those around you.
We are both naturally more introverted than some. I understand the struggles and feelings associated with that, but I’ve also come to know that there are some major benefits to it. Discover those. But also know that, despite our more internalized nature, there are times when you have to stand behind your convictions—those beliefs you know are right and true and good because God placed them in your heart—with words and actions. Nothing will empower you more, and nothing will draw people to you more, than living out those convictions and living without compromise.
Mika, you have been blessed with an incredible intelligence and you truly are an extraordinary writer. I do hope you continue to write and hone that skill, because you really are good enough to be published. But as important as using your intelligence is—and it *is* important, seek wisdom and know the difference between them. Seek God above all else, for He knows every part of you.
You have been blessed with an uncommon natural beauty. Embrace it in humility, but more importantly, realize that real beauty comes from within. Character matters more than you might realize right now. And in the coming years as your internal and external beauty draw the attention of young men, I pray that God would bless you with the wisdom to discern good from bad influences, and young men that respect you as a young women from those that do not. I certainly will be by your side to help you do just that (whether you appreciate the assistance at the time is another matter altogether).
While you have been incredibly blessed, and while I have so many hopes and dreams for you, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to be “perfect”. None of us can be. We all fail. We all fall short of the glory of God. But Jesus was perfect for us…so keep drawing near to Him, because it is only in Him that all these other things have meaning, and only in Him will you have a life full of peace and joy.
So on this day, know that you are loved, and that I pray you continue to grow into an amazing young woman. I am so incredibly proud of you and will always be here for you.
Today is the big day…Mikaela turns 13. I wanted to share the letter I wrote her for this day, below. Mika, You are at a truly important point in your life as you cross this threshold from child to teenager and down the road toward adulthood. But we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so today…