As I watch you sleep all curled up in your tiny footie pajamas, part of me can't fathom that someday you will be young woman. I will probably still sneak into your room when you are a teenager, just to catch a glimpse of my "baby" snuggled up and peaceful. On that day I will possibly find you stretched out with your feet and arms dangling off of the bed, headphones in your ears, a physics book with homework unfinished lying next to you. I can picture you reading this fifteen years from now, rolling your eyes at your sappy mom. But you will always be my baby, and I will always be your sappy mom.
I catch glimpses of the woman you will one day become, and I have such joy as I think of it. I see a fire within you already--a fire I know has been placed there by your Creator--and I wonder, will you make the choice to use it for His glory? You will have a choice of where to direct that passion deep within you. While you're young, I will do my best to help you channel it in ways that will help you grow in character and learn self-control. There will come a day, however, when I will no longer hold the reigns of your life, you will. I hope that at that time you will have learned how to bridle your fire so that it burns beautiful instead of destructive.
You are strong and you persevere through difficulties as you learn all the things a young one must learn. I already admire you. You have experienced bumps and bruises as you keep trying to grasp a skill or try something new. Sometimes there are tears, and yet you keep going. I know that as you grow there will be many more bumps and bruises. Sometimes I will be there to kiss them and make it all better. We both know, however, that the majority of the time I won't be able to make it all better with a simple kiss. You will have to feel the pain and work through the emotions that go with it. I have to be honest, I don't want you to experience any of it. I want to rescue you. Yet I know that just as gold is purified and refined through experiencing heat and pressure, so am I. And so are you. It is all a part of living this beautiful thing called life.
Someday you will have to navigate all the complexities of growing up. Boys, jobs, heartache, betrayal, your first love, moving away from home, becoming your own person, and so much more. I hope that you always keep God first in your heart. It is so easy to let things get out of perspective, and often that is when we make our biggest mistakes. I know, of course, that there will be times you will make choices that are dangerous or painful--we all do. There will be times when you fall flat on your face and end up covered in mud. Know that you can always come home, always. Even more importantly, know that you can always come back to Jesus. He will not hold your mistakes over your head or stand in shock at your poor choice. He will be waiting with arms open wide for you to come back. Every time. Even when I fail you as a mom--when I say or do the thing that hurts more than helps, when I am not there for you even though you need me--God will be. Without fail.
I want to promise that I will be a perfect mom, but if you've been my daughter for more than five minutes I'm sure you already know that is not the case. I can say, however, that I will try to be a good mom. I will make it my priority to love you well, to love your dad in a way that shows you how to someday love your own husband, and to love God well enough that you can see what an authentic relationship with Him looks like, and how much joy it can bring.