Dear Daughter(s)

A bit of time (okay, months of time) has passed since I’ve written last. Having a newborn tends to slow things, and yet, somehow my days seem impossibly short as I watch this new person transform before my eyes. It’s my intention to be back in the swing of writing regularly again now that I’m getting more sleep, so this site will be collecting fewer cobwebs (I hope).

Before our newest family member joined us outside the womb, I had the privilege of meeting with a handful of ladies with the intention of understanding God’s design for women. We read three excellent books:

Let Me Be a Woman By Elisabeth Elliot
Jesus and the Feminists By Margaret Kostenberger
and The Accidental Feminist By Courtney Reissig

Upon finishing the books and discussion our bookending task was writing a letter to another woman, summarizing our thoughts on womanhood. Since I now have a daughter, I wrote mine with her in mind, however, the truth I’ve learned is universal to all women; not just my own daughter, but daughters everywhere, so I’m sharing it with you:

Dearest E,
As you grow you will naturally ask the question, who am I? And the world is full of people who will try to tell you exactly who you are.

Some will say you are an object, and say you don’t matter any more than how you look or can be used. They will treat you as though you are sub-human.

Others will say you are whatever you want to be, and they will say nothing can–or should–stand in your way. They will treat you as though you are a god.

Your own heart will undoubtedly vacillate between these two extremes, alternating between pride and self-loathing.

All those voices will collide, your heart will feel like a tempest as you are plunged by their discouragement, or enticed by their praise. You will be surrounded with conflicting ideas and it may feel like a singular truth is impossible to find.

I want to tell you, none of those voices speak truth. You won’t find the answer to your questions either in your own heart, or from the shifting ideas of the world. In reading this, perhaps you are thinking, who do you think you are? It’s simple really, I am just like you. I have asked that question, and Christ answered, and his answer stands firm in the midst this sea of conflict. In your questioning he’ll answer you too.

I don’t have this whole womanhood thing entirely figured out, but I do know some true things, so I’ll share those tiny slivers of light with you:

Firstly, you were created. This means you matter. It also means that you are not the center of your universe, nor anyone else’s. You were made, therefore you were made for something.

Secondly, the God who created you also bled for you. This means you are loved extravagantly. It also means you are not perfect. You were bought with God’s blood, therefore you are not your own, and hard things are demanded of you–sometimes impossible things–that require humility, sacrifice, and suffering, but it’s worth it, he is worth it.

The world will try to tell you who you are, that you are a god or sub-human, don’t listen. Imagine instead two hands; hands with holes shaped by iron nails, hands that fashioned you intentionally and lovingly, with a purpose in mind.

As the world clamors for your attention and tries to tell you to find worth by your body, intelligence, relationship or career, listen to him instead, as he tells you to be content with him, to find your worth in his presence and his direction.

As the world tells you to look within yourself and do what makes you happy, remember the body that hung from a cross for your imperfection and follow him as he tells you to do hard things–to kill your pride, to hand him your fears, and to think of others always.

As the world proclaims your strength, admit your weakness and cling to his strength that never fails.

As the world calls you worthless, remember he calls you worthy.

Dear daughter, I know who you are: you are a woman, created by God, bought with his blood, and designed for good works that bring him glory into eternity. Walk with him, and your tempest heart will find rest and joy. Mine certainly has.

 

 

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