My dear, sweet Emma Faith,
I can't believe you are eleven years old. It is an amazing privilege to be your mom. It is quite challenging at times- only because I love you so much and I want to be faithful to what God has called me to as your momma. Some (most!) of my hardest decisions have been in mothering. I want you to know, from the deepest places in my heart, that you have borne the weight of those hard decisions WELL. Not perfectly, but SO well. It is never easy making the lonely choices. It is never easy to stand alone, simply because what God has asked of you, or your family, is different than what He has asked of those around you. It is painful to have convictions sometimes, isn't it? A wise friend of mine likes to say, "In the absence of Biblical convictions, you will always go the way of culture." (Sally Clarkson) It is so true! And so, my dear girl...this is my prayer for you: that you would be a young woman of His Word. That you would not base your direction on the way of culture, or even on the way that fine young women seem to be going. Emma Faith, I pray that you would never settle for anything less than Biblical conviction and the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you make your decisions. I pray that in the loneliest of times, you would find that there is One who is Faithful--He will never leave you or forsake you. I want you to know how proud I am of you. You have watched me make some of these lonely choices on your behalf, and even though we have cried and been sad and bruised because of them at times....we have cried and been sad and bruised together. And Jesus has met us there. I have seen such strength and integrity growing in you. By God's grace, I have seen you accept very difficult things in pursuit of what is greater, what is excellent, what is worthy of praise. I am just humbled to have you as my daughter, and I honor you in the Lord for the ways you are growing and maturing. It is natural to chase after the affection of the world, and compromise....but it is supernatural to stop, to think deeply on the Truth and His Ways, and then walk in them.
My lovely girl. You won't always get it right. You won't always make the lonely choice. When you don't, you will find that His grace is deeper than your mistakes and His love is better than life. And when you do, You will find His joy made bursting-at-the-seems full in your heart, and you will dance the dance of angels here on earth. There is NOTHING like knowing and loving Jesus. He is worth every sacrifice, big or small. He sees you Emma, and every lonely choice you make in His name. He delights in you just as you are, and yet in His kindness, He is making you to be more like Jesus.
I love you Emma Faith. You are a treasure.
With love and respect,