As I scroll through my feeds on social media, my heart is breaking. I’m looking into the world you are preparing to brave in a mixed state of joyous excitement and utter terror. On the one hand, exciting things are happening in the world and I cannot wait to see what you contribute to it. But it is when I see women posting about wanting to look sickly thin in order to feel good about themselves that I start to worry. I see women worried they are nothing more than a body on display. They pay no mind to their gifts and talents. As you enter your pre-teen years, you are slowly dipping your feet into one of the hardest seasons of life. You will question everything about yourself: from your hair & clothes to your favorite color & TV show, you will try to change everything in order to fit in to what the world tells you is best. It is the realization that you are growing older every day and although I wish I could, I cannot protect you from the world.
Unique Sister, I am writing to tell you something important. You Are Wonderfully Made. I know you’ve heard it before and I hope you never stop hearing it, but more importantly: I pray you believe it. I pray you know the beauty of your created self is not just skin deep, the brilliance of your design sinks deep into the depths of your being. That your mind, body, soul, and spirit were handcrafted into something more meaningful than any of us can ever imagine. When God spoke this earth into motion, He knew you. He thought of you, He wanted you, He loved you. And even better: He still knows you. He still thinks of you, He still wants you, He still love you.
Sweet Sister, when I look at you I see the future. You’re young, energetic, and learning more about yourself every day. I’m both happy and sad to say that it will take time to really figure yourself out. I have eight years on you and there are still days I wonder who I really am. You have so much to look forward to and so much I wish you could skip. The sad truth is this world is going to do everything it can to rip you apart. There will be days you look in the mirror and wish the face looking back was different. There will be times you work harder than you ever have on a project and no one will give you the high-five you deserve. There will be people who tell you lies and people you push you around. There will be people and situations that break your heart. There will be times you question if you really matter at all and there will be times you wonder if you really were created for a purpose. It is pains like these I wish you would never have to face.
Brave Sister, fear not and take heart, for Love truly overcomes. It starts with loving God. It starts with seeking Him above the world, with forming friendships based on Him, with trusting Him always. He will teach you to love yourself. He wants you to love yourself, each and every bit of it, from head to toe & mind to soul. You will love the soft brown of your eyes and the freckles that kiss your skin. You will love your uncontrollable giggles and your voice lifted in praise. You will love your ability to quote random movies and vast vocabulary. You will love the way you feel deeply for others and speak love through hugs.
Beautiful Sister, it pains me to say, but we live in a world ruled by looks. There are people who will make comments about your body that will hurt and I want you to know that these words do not matter. They have no control over you. If anyone, man or woman, says you are any less because you decided to do something with your body, they are not worth your time. You are not disgusting for looking a certain way or wearing certain clothes. If you want to wear a t-shirt and jeans, do it. If you want to wear a dress, do it. Do it for yourself and not anyone else. Remember that your outer appearance does not define your worth. Your worth has already been taken care of through Christ, you are His daughter and that far exceeds any earthly value.
Valuable Sister, my dreams for you are vast and my love for you exceeds that. I pray for your heart every day: that hurt will make you better not bitter, that you never lose yourself to a false persona, and that you find home in God’s love. I pray you live a grand adventure, one filled with mystery and wonder that makes you thirst for more of Him and less of this world. Make noise and leave your mark on the world. I pray you love with reckless abandon and that your soul always dances in His presence. I believe in you and I pray you believe in yourself. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, You Are Wonderfully Made. I love you Little Sister.