I wish I could protect your innocence forever. I wish you could always dance around in tutus and wobble around the house in footed pajamas. I wish every kiss was as innocent as a peck in pre-k music class. More than that, I wish I could shelter you from the world and every ounce of pain. Since I can’t I will spend all my days pouring truth into your heart and hoping it sticks. I will teach you that beauty isn’t a debt you owe to anyone. I will tell you often that love and lust are not the same thing. I’m going to teach you that people should respect your “no’s” and if they don’t someone should listen and take action. I’m going to make sure you know without question you are loved, you are valued, and your beautiful not because of what you do or how you look in a bikini but because God breathed life into you. I pray I can teach you speak out when you see wrong instead of excusing it away. I will encourage you to listen to the ache in your heart when you cross lines and that my door will feel like the safest place you can run when you mess up. I pray our house can be a haven from the world when it fails you. I pray the love you feel from in our family will set a standard way above average. I promise to do my best to have the hard conversations, listen more than I speak, and never push aside your pain because there is someone hurting more.
You see I wasn’t sure if being considered pretty was a gift or it was a duty. I didn’t know that being subjected to inappropriate comments or unwanted attention was something I could stand up against. I believed that admiration was fuel in this cruel world no matter how degrading the attention was. I never stopped to ask if there was a better way. I ignored the ache in my heart asking for better. I didn’t know that God loved me before I chose him and that he believed I was worth more than basement regrets and bad decisions in back seats. Even when I was drowning my pain in alcohol and numbing my body with drugs, God had given me worth. It didn’t start when I cleaned up my life it started at the cross.
One of the main reasons I wanted to see the other side of healing is so that we could have these talks. So that I wouldn’t let shame crush me into silence. God conquered shame when he endured the cross. Never forget it and if you lose your way as the road gets longer I hope you know I love you without conditions or exceptions.