Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Sister's Heart

(The following is a letter written by my 20 year old daughter, Jennifer, for her 3 year old sister, Leah. It was part of an assignment for a psychology class Jennifer was taking at Biola University. Along with the nice affection expressed by a big sister for her little sister, this touches on the challenge of being a woman in a world that works against God's intention for women. Of course, my daughter is able to express this in a much more authentic way than I ever could.)

Dear beautiful girl,

If you could only grasp this idea and reality of your beauty, you would never think for a second that you are not enough. What can I say to remind you that you are stunning? That the angels stand in awe and wonder when they see your shining face and hear your priceless laughter? How God has fashioned a reflection of Himself in you that will never be manifested in any other woman in all of time? When I heard the news that you would be born, I could not begin to understand what a miracle it was that God decided to make you.
Who am I to be your sister? Even though the same blood does not run through us, I have a sister's heart for you and I am just beginning to understand the weight of my privilege and honor in having it. I am supposed to know the answers to the questions you will one day ask, and it breaks my heart that you will ever ask them. But I know every woman second guesses her beauty and Satan will scream at her that she is ugly and worthless and the only way to be of worth is to please lustful appetites. I know those days will come, but if I had my way you would never have to hear any of those lies.
Is there any way to preserve your innocence forever? Is there anything I could say that would convince you that you are the most beautiful little girl I have ever known? Will I ever be ready to see you lose your innocence? When you realize that there is a fork in the road-- I can only pray that you take the road of self-assurance and worth. What can I do to make sure that you take that path instead of the other path that leads to a pit of emptiness? We are lured into the pit with promises of wholeness and love, and once we take the bait we find ourselves to have everything but those things.
All we want is what we were made to have, to be. Instead we are too much, not enough, too skinny, too fat, too clingy, too withdrawn, too loud, too quiet, too smart, too ditsy, too intimidating, not spiritual enough. We are never what we should be. All I can do is tell you now and always that you have changed this world with your existence. You will grow and become a woman--the zenith of creation. You can only find your worth and beauty in the One who made you; He is the only one capable enough to tell you who you are. All those other stupid voices, shut them out. Who are they to think they have any idea how much you are worth? If you hear them, and you will, hold your head up high. Walk with dignity and rest assured in what you know, that you are a daughter of the King. Clothe yourself in dignity and love. If you do that, everything else will fall into place. You won't feel the need to expose yourself, since you won't be starved and looking for cheap love.
You already have the very richest of love and it can fill you completely. I still can't believe that I have the honor of helping you walk into this way of living. I hope that I will be a woman who can model this to you when the time comes; I hope I will be ready. I love you.
Your sister,
Jenny

3 comments:

Jim said...

Extraordinarily profound and moving. So wise and true--and potentially heartbreaking.

Thank you for posting this letter. I am touched deeply.

Jim Berkley
Bellevue, WA

Kriss Bottino said...

I am so moved by your words. They express so much of what I desire my daughter to know & hear but can't seem to hear from her mother "the pastor". I will be sharing your words with her,she is 12. Thank you for speaking in love & truth to your sister. It is wisdom for all of us as Christian siblings, no matter what age. Kriss Bottino, Kennewick, WA

Byron Wade said...

Beautiful and moving letter. Thanks for sharing!

Peace,
Byron Wade
Raleigh, NC