To My Daughter

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I see you.

I see your 12-year-old self trying to navigate your way through a broken and confusing world.

I see you struggling to find your identity, your place in life.

I see you longing for someone to see you, really see you for all of who you are.

I see you looking for acceptance, wanting to fit in and yet stand out.

I see you.

I have a few words for you, my sweet girl.

Wait.

Just wait.

This world today tells you to grow up and grow up fast.  But there’s another way.  You don’t have to dive headlong into parts of life your brain and heart are emotionally unprepared to handle.

You can wait.

Wait for boys.  No offense to parents of 12 year old boys, but really, they are nothing to cry over. Or obsess over.

Wait for them to grow up.  Wait for you to grow up.

You can wait, although our culture tells you now, now, now.

You can swim against the current that says it’s perfectly fine for your 9 year old sister to have a boyfriend. (It’s not.)

You can quietly refuse to follow the dictates of a microwave society where instant gratification feels like a right.  I’ll stand with you.

In a time when some of your classmates are wearing eyeliner and performing beauty rituals to rival those of the hottest Hollywood starlet, you can be the naturally gorgeous girl that you are.

You don’t have to flaunt your body.  I know the magazines, TV shows and movies all say that’s the way to attract male attention, and it will get you attention, that’s true.  But the kind of attention you’ll get by showing too much skin is not the good kind.

The flirtiness?  Yes, it’s all in fun but be careful.

Because the boys who are drawn to girls who show it all, who flirt outrageously, those aren’t the boys who will stick around.

Beware of getting sucked in by the desire for attention.  It can drive you to do some silly and downright dangerous things.

Guard your heart, girl.

Don’t give away all your mystery too soon.

You are worth so much more than that.  Remember, God found you worthy of His only Son.

It’s OK to wait.

There will be those among your peers who question your choices, try to change your mind, exclude you, or bully you.  There are always going to be those people in life.  Sometimes people feel threatened if you don’t think the same way they do.

Wait anyway.  Your Daddy and me, we’ve got your back.

Act your age.  Not 14, not 16, and heaven forbid, not 18.

Don’t rush to toss your childhood off for the next big thing.

Ride bikes, color, jump on the trampoline.  Play with dolls.  Act silly.  Write stories.

Play.

In a world where 8 year olds carry iPhones, don’t be in such a hurry to grow up.  Trust me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

You don’t have to know what you want to be when  you grow up.  I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up.

There is time still.

Time to figure out who you are and more importantly, Whose you are.

Time to grow into the woman God designed you to be.

And then one day a man (not a boy) will come along who will see you, and love you, and cherish you like the treasure you are.

Wait for that one.  Don’t give your heart away too soon or too easily.

Be the girl he has to pursue.  God designed him that way, you know, to pursue.

Don’t be in a hurry to grow up.

Wait.

Take your time.

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7 thoughts on “To My Daughter

  1. I found my way here from the introductions on the Allume Newbies FB! It’s no coincidence, of course; God works that way 🙂 The first thing I noticed was hey – wait a minute, that looks like the beach I just spent last week enjoying with my family!! I mean, literally, it looks like the spot right outside the condo we rent! More importantly this post jumped out at me. My youngest of five is a twelve year old girl – sometimes too much in a hurry to grow up. These words echo my feelings precisely. Sometimes we listen better to those we don’t know as well as those closest to us. I think I’ll have her sit down and read it. Thank you for sharing. I hope to meet you at Allume in October!

  2. This letter to your daughter is an awesome gift to her and for those of us who have girls her age, too!

    P.S. And if you ever want to write for More to Be (www.moretobe.com), let me know! I’d love to have your voice shared over there, too.

    • I’m slow to reply to this, but I’d love to write something for More to Be. It’s a great resource for people just like me, who are trying to raise Godly daughters in a world that seems to contradict everything we’re doing. Just let me know what you have in mind and I’ll see what I can do. Thanks so much for the invitation!

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