My daughter Julia drew this picture recently.
I love it.
To me, it captures wistfulness, some trepidation, and hope as this young girl considers the world before her.
She will have mountains to climb and rivers to cross.
How will she face those challenges?
What mark will she make on the world?
Right now, Julia stands on the threshold of big change. After being homeschooled all her life, she will begin public school in the fall. She is leaving behind the familiar to embrace the new.
That is life. Nothing stays the same for long and change is inevitable.
It’s my job to give her the tools she needs to be able to face this life head on…to not let fear hold her back…to celebrate her uniqueness and God-given gifts…to grow in her faith until it is completely her own.
It has been such a joy to see a young lady emerge from the tomboy we have known for so long. Her tender heart holds a deep affection for any and all animals, as well as immense love for her family and friends. Laughter comes easily and her eyes sparkle with joy. She enjoys reading the classics and poetry, is learning to frame the world around her through the eye of a camera lens, and has a wonderful sense of humor.
Julia is the artist of our family. She recently performed in “Little Women” and may have been bitten by the acting bug. She loves to draw and is learning to play the flute. She has a pure, clear soprano voice that has added a richness to not only the Christmas and Easter choirs at church, but also to a holiday concert with Peter Mayer and his band. I love that she fills our home with the gift of music every day.
She has her “blonde” moments, just like her mom, but she is smart as a whip. During the 2008 presidential election, she watched every debate with her father and me. She can name everyone from the Speaker of the House and the governor of our state. When I was 13 years old, I did not have a clue about those things.
On any given day, our conversation can range from her plans for the weekend to our president’s current decisions to her thoughts about the latest Jane Austen novel she is reading.
She is all at once complex, fun, sometimes silly, sweet, kind-hearted, creative, deeply contemplative, smart, and talented.
So, as you look to the future and that big world out there, my sweet girl, know this: you are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has great plans to use your life to display His glory to a broken world. Jesus is your everything. He is truly all you need. He holds your precious life in the palm of His hand. You have His light within you…don’t be afraid to let it blaze brightly, no matter the cost. When hard times come–and they will— let them shape you into the mighty woman of faith you were meant to be. Don’t you dare let fear have the final word. Fight for the Joy that is found in Christ alone. Embrace the beauty of life and do not take even one moment for granted. Always be grateful. Never stop praying.
You are deeply loved.