Saturday, May 28, 2011

To My Daughter Upon Entering High School

This is a letter I wrote to my daughter Lily for her 8th grade banquet.

Dear Lily,

I always wanted a little girl. You have no idea how excited I was when you were born. You were tiny with a head full of dark hair. We put a little pink bow in your hair and took you home the next day.

About a week later, your dad and I packed up you and your big brothers and headed off for Washington state for your dad's job. About halfway there, you started having seizures in my arms. I have never been so afraid in my life. I saw your brief life and my visions for your future flash before my eyes, and for a second I thought I would lose my little flower girl to eternity.

But God had other plans, and no one is happier than I. We never knew why you had those seizures, but time and medicine took the problem away. You have now grown to be a beautiful, intelligent and talented young lady.

I know that right now you don't know what you'll be when you grown up, and that's all right. You have time to figure all that out. Too often we rush toward the destination; and although it's good and noble to have goals, it's just as important to enjoy and embrace the journey. Take in the sights. Laugh a lot. Put yourself in others' shoes. Be fearless. Make the most of the moments God has given you. You'll get to the destination one day along with the rest of humanity. However, unlike those who just coast through life, you will be able to say you lived with no regrets.

I am proud of you. I always have been. These first few years of your life have been wonderful, but I bet there are even better things in store for you.

Always do your best. Don't settle for mediocrity. Keep your eyes on God. Guard your character and integrity. Love, respect, and listen to others, especially those who are different from you. They have a lot they can teach you, too. You are a special young lady with a lot to offer the world.

And don't just learn what to think, learn how to think. Know not just what you believe but why you believe it. Ask questions. Questioning God doesn't mean you have a lack of faith; it shows you take your faith seriously. God is big enough to handle each and every question, and it gives Him the opportunity to reveal to you His glory and wonder.

Your dad and I love you very much. These are exciting days. Enjoy them. Embrace them. We are excited for you and the journey that awaits you.

With all my heart,

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