A Letter to my First-born

Tonight, I had some much needed one-on-one time with my oldest.  She simply amazes me.  

Sweet Daughter, 

How is it you are almost 10?  Your maturity and strength inspire me.  This has been the hardest 18 months of your life, yet you have handled it with more grace than I have myself.  Moving to a new school in a new state is never easy.  I see how much you miss your friends and my heart breaks, though I believe this experience is making you stronger.  I wish I could ease the transition, but you have done an amazing job.  You have standards set for the people you want around you, and that my sweet child is a priceless gift.  I know this next school year will be better than last, and I am praying you continue to meet loyal friends.  

Your faith encourages me.  It was your interest in God that led us back to church in 2013.  The first step of mine in re dedicating my life to Christ, and it was you who pushed me into following the nudges I had already been feeling from God.  The first Christian songs I downloaded were songs you sang in your preschool graduation program.  I can still do some of the motions!  It was an honor and a true blessing from God to get baptized with you on January 31, 2016.  I saw you lean on God after the move.  I listened to you tell me about your prayers, and I prayed for you.  We’ve done devotionals together and you remember so much, more than I knew at your age.  

When your grandmother passed away, I wanted so badly for it to not be true to shield you from the pain.  You two had a special bond, born of being her firstborn granddaughter and a love of shoes.  My heart breaks every time I see you sad, which isn’t often because you try to shield us from more pain.  I wish you wouldn’t carry that burden on your own, but no matter how many times I tell you it’s okay for us to see you sad, you grieve in your own way.  You are a blessing to your grandfather and great-grandmother.  It’s as though you are an adult, the way you check in on them and worry about them.  If I could change it, I would because you need to be a kid, too, but you are making Lorrie so proud.  She loves you so much.  

During a time when I couldn’t bear to be in church because I felt so alone, you wanted to go.  Even though sometimes the worship songs make your eyes water with sadness, you never turned away from God but leaned in to Him.  There were days your faith inspired me to keep on leaning into God, despite my anger over our loss.  Tonight, in the Christian bookstore, I watched you pick our little verse cards and listened to you tell me what you were going to do with them.  I pray you always shine Christ’s light the way you are now.

You have been one of my biggest cheerleaders on my journey to write a book.  Always checking in on me, asking me what I’m writing about, and listening to me share parts with you…it has kept me going even when I feel inadequate.  Years ago, before I had a relationship with Christ, I set a goal to write a book to set an example for you that you can do anything you dream.  In March, tears ran down my face as I typed the final words to the first draft of my book.  Tears of glory to God for equipping me, and tears of joy that I accomplished my goal for you.  Know this: you CAN do anything you want in this life, as long as you have Christ in your heart guiding you.  That’s what I was missing all those years I tried to write, but couldn’t.  Keep Him close, He has such amazing plans for you.  

I love you, sweet daughter who made me a mom.  You make me laugh, roll my eyes, and cry out in frustration.  I love you dearly and am so happy God blessed me and allowed me to be your mom.

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