April 2, 2014

To my future daughter...


I recently got to catch up with a long-time friend over coffee...  It was so fun to reminisce about everything from summer camp shenanigans to favorite memories at youth group.  Truthfully though, in addition to the many sweet memories that this conversation brought about, it also reminded me of a few hard "growing up" moments, which at the time, were so very rough and raw- things like the B in chemistry that ruined my straight-A streak, or the broken heart that I had after finding out that the boy that I had a huge crush on, liked my friend.  All seem so trivial now after years have passed.  Laughable in fact... God has healed those old sorrows with time and reminders of where my true worth and confidence are found.  But I still remember how important these middle school and high school "crises" felt at the time...

It got me thinking... what do I wish I could tell my 15 year old self?  Or rather, what advice or guidance would I give if I have a daughter of my own someday?  Here are just a few things that came to mind.  The things that my parents and church mentors taught me along the way that have shaped me and made me the person who I am today. : )

1.) Dreams:  My prayer is that you would dream BIG.  Don’t wait until your senior year of college to search for what you love to do.  Start now.  Begin to discover what it is that you are truly passionate about.  Explore things that interest you.  It takes time and intentionality to pin point your gifts and passions, but this is all part of the adventure.  Pray that God would give you wisdom about how to use your gifts to serve Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Prov. 3:5-6
2.) True Identity:  It is very easy to find our identity in things that do not last.. things like achievement, money, outward appearance, and reputation.  While these things might provide temporary satisfaction, they will not provide lasting fulfillment.  When they are taken away, we are left empty.  Instead, aim to root your identity in the woman that Christ made you to be.  You are His beautiful, perfect creation and He made you with unique gifts, talents, and personality to worship him with.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10
3.) Stay Focused:  There are a lot of things in this life that will compete for your attention.  Friendships, hobbies, technology, school, boys… to name just a few.  All good things if prioritized correctly.  Entire days, weeks, even years can fly by where we forget to be intentional about investing our time and effort into things that actually matter.  God calls us to seek Him first.  If our hearts and minds are focused on God, He will give us the strength and time to complete what He has in store for us each day.  Ask God to help you prioritize your life according to His will.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matt. 6:33-34
4.) Knowing Him:  I also pray that above all else, you would pursue a personal relationship with Jesus all your life.  That you wouldn't settle to just know about Him- but that you would accept His invitation to know him personally.  That you would know God’s unconditional love for you and be filled with love and grace.  Accepting this invitation is by far the most important decision you will ever make.

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