From the day I brought you home from the hospital, I knew you were the perfect little girl for me. Before that, I was afraid of you. I grew up with three sisters and we were awful to our mother. I knew raising a daughter in this day and age would be hard. I love Jesus, I wanted you to love Him too. I want a blessed life for you in every way imaginable. One without pain, or betrayal. No accidents, tragedies, or health issues. Just a long, happy life. Every mother wants that.
But as a Christian woman living in the 21st century, there are so many issues we face. What does it mean these days for a girl to be moral? What kind of woman do you want to be? Should your goal be to get married?
And this for me is what it comes down to.
Be the kind of woman who has a sense of self but isn’t selfish. One who can say no to a man but can also say yes. Be the kind of woman who can stand on her own two feet if necessary but knows how to lean on friends for help. Be the kind of woman who knows who she is before becoming involved with someone else in love but when love comes love completely and deeply. Be the kind of woman who makes a contribution to the world with a job that is fulfilling but one that finds balance between that and your family. Be the kind of woman who teaches her own children the value of being financially, physically, and emotionally independent. One who doesn’t exist to serve her children but teach them. Be the kind of woman who gives your time to people and causes but knows how to balance that gift back to yourself. Be the kind of woman who likes who she sees when she looks in the mirror and at her heart. Be the kind of woman who strives for health over beauty, who has fun with fashion but is never ruled by it. Be the kind of person who deals with others honestly and with kindness even if it is not returned.
I want all of this for you because I never ever want you to feel trapped. In a city, in a job, in a relationship of any kind. I want you to feel empowered to make the best choices possible for yourself and the people you love. And with that sense of freedom and empowerment I want you to honor God in everything you do.
I am not a feminist. I’m far from it. In marriage, I honor my husband and look to him for leadership and counsel. I do not agree that women should be wherever a man can be. I think men and women are very different and thus should have very different roles. Popular issues of our day have blurred the lines between sexes. But my darling, being a woman is not the same as being a man.
Your body, your heart, your mind are wired differently and that difference does not make you weaker or less-than. It just makes you different. Celebrate your femininity, celebrate your emotions. They allow you to be all of what God has called you to be and will make you an amazing mother some day.
But I never want you to think that just because you are a woman, that you have to do anything anybody tells you to do. Your life is between you and God. Only you know the whole story. You and God must journey together making life’s choices. Sometimes you will make mistakes but be quick to forgive yourself . Keep looking for the next opportunity to do good. Surround yourself with people who also want to do good. They will make mistakes sometimes too, be quick to forgive them as well.
Life will not always be easy. But never lose hope and never give up because it is very true that God’s mercy is new every morning. Bad times will always get better. Ultimately we will end up in heaven and what could be better than that?
I know that at 19 years old, you are well on your way to becoming all of what I hope for you. I’m so proud of your discipline, your character, your kindness. You have an old soul. But as mature as you are, there are just somethings you won’t be able to learn until you experience them. I’m sorry if sometimes I’m inpatient with that process. I’m sorry sometimes I’m hard on you. It’s only because I love you. And no matter what, that will always be true.
Thank you for being one of my very best friends in life. I love that we can laugh, and talk, and spend time together just for fun. I love that we can share clothes, and food, and do projects together. I’m glad you still call me when you are feeling down. Every fiber in my being always wants to take your burden on as my own. And sometimes because of that I get a little too involved or emotionally charged.
But I hope someday you look back and think that you had a good mom who even though she repeats herself constantly, forgets what you say about your schedule half the time, and who is far from perfect, she was the perfect mom for you.