This is a confusing place. Every single day you will see and hear messages that can leave your head spinning. Messages from the world, telling you who to be, how to be, what you should look like, what you should aspire to in this life. I pray that I will be able to help you navigate these dark waters; help you see things for what they truly are. I pray that I can see things for what they truly are.
I hope that when you look upon the face of an elderly man or woman and see the wrinkles and the gray hair and the age spots you see wisdom, experience, knowledge, glory, and not someone who is out of touch, an inconvenience or who has nothing left to give. I hope you sit at their feet and hear their stories and make them feel important. Because they are.
I hope that when you see someone born with some physical imperfection you see a child of God who is no less loved by Him than you or anyone else. I hope you smile at them and treat them as if you don’t notice.
I hope when you see me lacing up my shoes to go for a run you see a woman who wants to keep her heart healthy and her body strong to serve her family and others and not a woman who is obsessed with her physical form.
I hope when you catch a glimpse of a sparsely dressed super model in one of those magazines in the checkout aisle you blush and feel ashamed for her. I hope you don’t think for a second that this is what you need to be. I hope you understand that there is nothing genuine about airbrushed photos – and that her value is actually inside of her, even if she hasn’t yet discovered it.
I hope when you realize you have a special talent that makes you different from your friends, that you not hide it away. I hope you take that talent and cultivate it into something big and amazing.
I hope you try, and fail, and try again. And again. And again. Because nothing incredible happens easily.
I hope that tanning beds are non-existent long before you are old enough to even think about visiting one. But just in case, I hope you know that eating paint chips would be an equally intelligent decision.
I hope you have the clarity and honesty to recognize when you have fallen short and have the humility to apologize and turn away from the wrong and strive to do better next time. The world will tell you this is weakness, but the truth is that it takes great strength to admit your mistakes.
I hope you understand that you can do anything, but that you don’t have to become CEO of your own corporation to prove your equality with anyone. I hope that you may be able to be *just* a stay at home mom, and if so, that you will understand the importance, difficulty, and blessings of that humble title.
I hope you grasp the seemingly archaic ideas that marriage is for life and love is a choice. I hope you choose your husbands oh so carefully and then stand by them through whatever comes your way. I hope you realize that you are on the same team and that hurting him only hurts you.
I hope you choose to be healthy. Hear me, child. I did not say skinny. I hope that you value your body for what it is, the temple of the Lord. That you will neither abuse it with gluttony, alcohol, drugs, or laziness, nor will you make it an idol that you worship with excessive diet and exercise. I hope you, like the Proverbs 31 woman, strengthen your arms, not to impress others but to serve others. I hope you will know that no matter how fit you are or are not, your body is sacred – it was made for you and for your husband and should be clothed in dignity.
I hope you choose to be beautiful. Really beautiful. I hope you understand that true beauty is not achieved through contouring your cheekbones, perfectly applying your eyeliner, or finding the perfect shade of lipstick. I hope that when you see commercials for cosmetics you laugh at the absurd marketing ploys. I hope that you understand that it’s impossible to “billionize” your eyelashes, because that’s not even a word and even if it were, that sounds like a terrible idea. I hope you see that beauty is not found in the most stylish clothing or the perfect messy bun. True and unfading beauty comes from a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4). This is a tough one, loves. We will all fight for balance in this area at some point as we strive to feel valued in this world. I hope you know that your value does not lie in how beautiful the world perceives you. And that no amount of plastic surgery, Spanx, spray tanning, or mascara can make you truly beautiful.
Finally, girls, I hope you choose to be you. I hope you refuse to be pressed into any mold other than the one God has given you through his Son. We are told not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that by testing we may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). But that is often much much easier said than done. I hope you can grasp the absolute truth that this life is not it. What lies beyond is infinitely better than anything this life has to offer and it is okay to swim against the stream and to stand out. I hope you embrace yourself – just as God created you – for you are fearfully and wonderfully made!
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