Tuesday, January 5, 2010

For My Daughter, On Her Sixteenth Birthday

My oldest daughter, Molly Michele, turns sixteen on this day. The words that I had to say to her at her birthday party were extremely easy to write…
It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating your sixteenth year already.

The days of “Train up a child”, “Don’t let anyone look down on you in your youth”, and “Spare the rod and spoil the child” are almost behind us. Now, you are approaching the stage of living as the Proverbs 31 woman. Instead of needing daily instruction and encouragement, you are becoming a frequent source of those things for others.

As my oldest child, it is a wonder for me to see you move from the various stages of needing to be taught how to pour milk on your cereal, how to study your Bible, or even how to drive. You are now able to learn things and make discoveries on your own. You can learn and create and be an encouragement to others without being told to do so. You are self-sustaining.

I see this in your daily walk, in how you treat and unselfishly serve others, and in the things that you write. For example, you have written this in your blog:

"I know how hard it is to stay positive all the time, but that is definitely something my generation needs to work on. There is a hole inside each of us that begs to be filled with something. You may choose to fill it with electronics or clothes, but Jesus is the only thing that will fulfill you completely. Choose to be content with what you have so that you may radiate the joy of Christ in everything you do. Although happiness lasts only moments, God’s joy will last forever."

And you also wrote:

"Please understand that because someone calls you a teen does not mean that you have to act like it. Our generation needs to raise the expectations of our world so that we can make a difference for God in everything we do. Make the decision to break the barrier of low expectations so that you can do great things for Jesus now, without having to wait until you are an adult. God does not care if you are 14 or 65…He created you to do big things now."
These are the words of a young woman who is maturing in Christ.

Finally, the gathering of well-wishers at your surprise party is a witness to your life so far. Your fan club is not simply made up of young people of your own age. Since you were very young, you were comfortable with adults of all ages, as well as with toddlers and newborns. Your life has touched many people already, and you are able to socialize, and love and be loved by people of all ages. You know that this sometimes makes you “different” from the average teen, but I believe that you are brave and fully accepting of that role. I want you to know – your mother and I want exactly that reputation for you. It’s not always easy, and it’s not necessarily the world’s view of a popular lifestyle, but you have become a godly young woman. Know this – you are exactly the sixteen year-old daughter that I always dreamed of having.

I love you so very much, Molly. Watching you grow up thrills me and breaks my heart at the same time. It breaks my heart because I love each stage that you have gone through and I often want to simply freeze time so I can enjoy you where you are at forever. But it thrills me because I believe that God continues to have great plans for your life. You are so special – I can’t wait to see where He will lead you next. I love you.

1 comment:

Joe Taylor said...

Okay, so even though I was there when you read this to Molly in person, I am STILL sitting here bawling. Why can't we freeze time?! That sounds like an invention you should be working on. ;-)
~ Kara