Confession #82: A Letter to My Daughter: “What Kind of Woman Will You Raise Me to Become?”
Yesterday morning Dalencia and I didn’t go to Haitian church. Instead, we had what we called “girl church” on our roof. When your little one is recovering from what may or may not be scabies (Bless her heart, I know.) girl time + the rooftop + The Jesus Storybook Bible + our favorite worship music seemed to be a much better option.
And as we sat there singing along to Chris Tomlin, her in her little pink chair and pink pants, and me still sporting my mismatched pajamas, I could hear her future self asking me:
Mom, what kind of woman will you raise me to become?
Maybe that sounds crazy. Maybe not.
But as a mother who longs for her daughter to do great things in the name of a great God, I have been hearing this voice a lot lately.
What kind of woman will you raise me to become?
And that question, well, it bears a lot of weight because I owe her the right answer. I owe my daughter to raise her with a vision in mind. I owe it to her not to raise her blindly, especially in a world where she can oh-too-easily get lost. Who do I want her to become? What kind of woman will I raise her to be?
So yesterday, while she played around our house topless, itchy, and yet still just as cheery as ever I wrote her this letter:
I know you are not old enough yet to really understand what I am about to write you, but that is okay. One day you will understand. And one day this will all make sense.
Today, I want to promise you three things. Go ahead, count to three on your fingers.
One. Two. Three.
As your mommy, God is going to use me to teach you a lot of things about what it means to be a girl in this world, especially a girl for Him. But today, I want to promise you that these three lessons I will try to teach you always and forever- for they are the most important.
Be patient with me, because I’m probably going to mess up a lot. But that is okay, you will too. Our God is a gracious God. So let us also be gracious girls.
Dalencia, your God loves you. He chose you. Always remember. Never forget.
Your first parents, they loved you too. Always hold them in your heart.
And as for your mom and dad, well, just like Gran told me and now I tell you, “If God was to line up all the girls in the world into one row and He said, ‘Mommy you can only pick one,’ I would always pick you”.
So know that you are loved. Always. So. Loved.
And because you are loved, I am going to raise you to be an amazing young woman.
Ready to count to three?
1. I will raise you to be an equipped young woman, who will know your gifts, and feel confident in your ability to use them however and wherever God may call you. Whatever gifts God has given you, I am here and ready to help you discover them. I want you to never doubt your talents, your abilities, and your limits. So I promise to do my best to daily strengthen you in the truth so that when you are hit with the lies (i.e. you can’t do this because you are a girl, you aren’t ____________ enough, and you aren’t well equipped so you might as well not even try) you will know how to fight them off with a mighty force. My girl, I want you to know that whatever God has called you to do- YOU CAN DO IT. And you can do it well, beautifully well.
2. I will raise you to see beyond the fake beauty of the world and to know the true beauty God already has already given you. My beautiful one, as you grow up, this world is going to try and tell you that you are not pretty enough- that your hair is too kinky, that your clothes don’t show enough skin, and that your face needs makeup. Fashion is fun. I get it. I’m a girl too, remember? But it is also fleeting. And my beautiful Dalencia, God already made you gorgeous for an everlasting kingdom. Don’t let mini skirts and cheap lipstick blur your vision of that. Don’t let boys distract you from that. Your beauty is beyond the pages of the latest fashion magazines. Your beauty was designed not by upscale NYC designers. No. Your beauty was designed by God, creator of the universe. Remember that.
3. I will raise you to be a woman who loves. A strong woman who loves. A brave woman who loves. A confident woman who loves. A believer who loves. I will raise you as a daughter of the King of Kings who loves to love others. Because, Dalencia, people will know your God because of your love. It is through your love that you will reach people’s hearts. Through one of your gentle hugs, beautiful handmade necklaces, or sweet letters just because- all of those speak love. Love God. Love others. This is how you need to live your life. My love, I promise to raise you to be a young woman who loves, and loves well.
So how will I raise you, my darling Dalencia? I will raise you to be you. I will raise you to be the you God created you to be- whoever that may be. Maybe you are going to grow up to be a teacher, a missionary, a social worker, or a doctor. Maybe you will fight sex- trafficking, or serve orphans, or work with the homeless. Maybe you will want to use your gift of dance to make us all feel joy, or maybe you will want to be a stay at home mom. Maybe you will be a baker, a business woman, or an artist. Maybe you will want to be a writer or a singer or a politician. Maybe you are the next world-changer, freedom-fighter, peace-maker. Who knows? Your possibilities are endless.
As for now, let’s hold hands and focus on Him, love, beauty, and together let’s discover your gifts.
One. Two. Three.