Since I can’t seem to get a post together for the life of me about this busy summer of ours or Miss Eden, I will share a letter I wrote today for a dear friend of mine whom I have known since she was 3. Pretty crazy that she has now graduated from high school, her life before her. I love her dearly.
These are things I can’t wait to teach Eden. I feel so blessed to have a daughter to love, to guide, and to pray for.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” Prov 3:5-6
We have heard this verse a thousand times before. I imagine it might have even been one of the first verses you memorized as a little girl. Countless times you have prayed through it, heard others lean on it and even many more times you have sought to trust this good word.
You are embarking on one of the greatest adventures of your life. You have completed high school and the world stands at your feet. So many directions, so many paths, so many opportunities lay before you. In your heart you hold dreams for your future, hopes for a family, love and fulfillment.
Life will in time fulfill many of these dreams, but there will also be many other dreams yet dreamt, hopes yet to be had. You will plan and pursue and God will sometimes redirect and reroute. Don’t be afraid to follow him into new areas. You may have seasons of drought, seasons spent in the desert of this life. Just remember, God led Moses into the desert for 40 years. It took him 40 years to become the man God would need to lead his people out of the Egypt. God sometimes moves us into areas of detour…where his sole purpose is character development and preparation. Never underestimate the beauty that these heart-wrenching seasons can produce.
There will be many joys. Treasure them, hold onto them, and capture them. There will be friends that you hold near and friends with whom, over time, you will drift away from. Bottom line, keep the ones who build you up, who make you shine from the inside out, and who encourage you and allow you to be yourself.
Don’t fall captive to the image this world has created for you, for all women. We cannot and will not ever live up to it. Instead, remember that you have unique gifting and that your true beauty is measured in the love that you show others.
Smile – there is no greater way to impact someone’s day…It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s yours to offer freely. It will bless people in ways you will only learn of in heaven. Make it a habit to smile…even when you’re grumpy. Eventually, you will find that even in moments of grumpiness, you are able to go beyond yourself and allow God to use you to bless others.
Don’t ever settle. Trust in the Lord…if the path leaves you heavy, your stomach in knots, your heart unsettled, it probably is not meant to be. Listen to these signs. God has given you a discerning, wise spirit. Oftentimes we know the answers to our questions though we are afraid to admit it, though we are afraid to walk away or walk through the doors he is opening. Be still, listen…the next step will sometimes-mean waiting; sometimes it will be to keep walking. Ask God to help you to discern between the two. He promises that He will make our paths straight…and he will do that. One day you will look back on your choices, having trusted and sought Him and you will be able to say that he has fulfilled your dreams in ways far “beyond anything you could have asked for or imagined.”
Lastly, a woman told me when I was turning 19 to pray for a man who would Honor, Cherish, and Adore me. In time I added 2 more things to this list…that he would Desire me and Appreciate me. That last part came from your mama. There are very few people in this life who will truly appreciate you…ALL of you (the good, the bad, the ugly and the glorious) and show you such admiration. Make sure you marry that man!
I could go on and on….
One day at a time.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Cherish the moments.
Pray without ceasing.
His mercies are new every morning.
Oh, I do have one more thought for you. A family I met in college lived by these words and sent their kids off to school every day with this line.
RECEIVE GOD’S LOVE.
It sounds easy, but oftentimes we struggle to allow God to truly love us. Receive His LOVE for you and you will find unending joy.