First of all, I want to say that I love you. You are a beautiful, strong, loving girl who is swiftly growing up. I admire your tenacity, encourage your spirit, and am blessed by your heart. The way you care for your family is beautiful and the depth of your love is apparent for all to see. You are a hard-worker, diligent, and just a little bit stubborn. I love the freckles on your nose and the way you dance and how you like to do search-and-finds and crosswords. You are a smart, pretty, talented, kind girl, who I love very much.
But this world is cruel. There will come a day when you will feel dissatisfaction. How I wish that there was something I could do to stop it from ever hurting your heart! You will look in the mirror and wish to be thinner, wish to be curvier, wish to have a straighter nose, wish to have thicker hair, wish to have bluer eyes, wish to have less freckles, wish to be taller, wish to be shorter, wish to have a smaller jaw, wish to have thicker brows, wish for this wish for that, wish.
I want to tell you to stop. Words that hurt me are words that say, you are fat, or you are ugly, or you are not worth it. Words that hurt me are words that tell you that you are not good enough, that you are not smart enough, that you are not talented enough. Words that hurt me are words that say you are not enough.
I wish desperately that I had been a better example to you. I'm praying that I daily would be. I don't want to let self-doubt percolate down to you. I want you to avoid being concerned about weight and your face and whatever. I want you to know deeply, truly, and passionately that your worth is not in your weight, hair, height, talents, intellect, possessions, popularity, wealth -- that your worth is in Jesus. Your identity is in Jesus. He says you are beautiful. Every hair on your head he knows, every freckle dappling your face are marks of His fingerprints.
Gracie girl, I don't want you to ever let anyone squash your dreams or quench your spirit. I love the way you love the Lord and desire to know Him deeply. Let that be your driving force. Words that hurt me are words that put you in a box and tell you that your only value is in the things of this world. That is a lie and I don't want you to ever have to fall prey to those thoughts.
My sweet Grace, I am so blessed to be your sister. Please know intrinsically that your identity is in Christ. Please know deeply that you are loved with a love that surpasses all understanding. Please know that you are forgiven, loved, redeemed, precious, blessed, and made whole because of Jesus. Please know that your inner beauty matters more than your outer, and that a woman in love with the Lord has a beauty that the world cannot even hope to touch.
Words that hurt me are words that say you aren't enough. But you ARE enough -- because of Jesus. Cling to that when life gets hard and your heart gets hurt and you feel as if you can't go on for whatever reason. He is enough, and He has said that you are enough because you are His.
I love you so much.