My oldest daughter will be turning 15 on Friday. I don’t know where the time went. One minute I was pulling her hair into pigtails and the next we’re teaching her how to drive a car.
And though there are times when my brain can’t accept she’s not a baby anymore, I’m amazed to see the beautiful young woman she has become. She’s funny and smart. She loves The Beatles and Dave Matthews (along with One Direction, of course). She has a heart for children with special needs. She loves makeup, Nutella, and Vans. She’s a teenager.
She’s growing before my very eyes and I can feel time slipping through my fingers. I’m going to blink and she’ll be gone, off on her own adventures. I have a few more precious years with her here in our house and I want to make sure she knows how much I love her.
So I’m writing this note.
There are a few things we want you to know as you turn 15 and take another step into adulthood.
You’re beautiful. The world is lying to you. Its definition of “beautiful” is small and shallow. Your beauty can not be measured by such poor standards. Because your beauty is more than your blonde hair, your hazel eyes, your charming smile. Your beauty is also your kind heart, your willingness to work, your love for God. Beauty is so much more than appearance. It’s easy to forget that truth when the world bombards you with fake images of shallow beauty. Beauty is not simply being sexy. Beauty is being honest, beauty is grace, beauty is kindness, beauty is serving God and loving the people around you. And you, my daughter, are VERY beautiful.
God has given you a wonderful heart that yearns to be loved. You have a romantic nature and tender soul, and we love that about you. We know you can’t wait to meet the man that God has called to one day be your husband.
And when you finally meet your knight in shining armor we want you to remember something: he is not God. He will make you more happy than you can imagine, but he can’t satisfy your soul and fulfill all the desires of your heart. That honor belongs to God. You will love your husband more than anyone else on earth. You will laugh together, you will raise a family, you’ll annoy each other, you’ll argue, you’ll reconcile. Marriage is wonderful. It is second only to your relationship with God. But remember that it is second. The only way you can really love your husband is to love God.
We are your parents. We will always be your parents. Life will knock you around. We will be here for you. We will pray for you. We will always love you. You may not always like our rules, but we will continue to do our best to prepare you to be on your own. And that means rules. That means we will be nosey. That means lectures, and life lesson talks. It means we will heap more responsibility on you than you may like. But we love you and we want to do our best to prepare you.
You will make mistakes. We all do. Those mistakes will not change our resolve to love you for the rest of our lives. You’re our daughter, always.
We love you. We’re proud of you. Happy birthday.
Dad and Mom