Dear Lily,

I sincerely hope that one day when you are old enough to read this you do not do as some young people do and disregard it as the washed up ramblings of a woman from another day and age who has had her time and whose words have little relevancy in your lifetime. I write this realizing that you and I will live in two very different worlds, and that by the time you read these words, my culture may look as distant and  foreign to you as the colonial days do to me. I look around me and already I can scarcely recognize the world around me. So much is changing so fast and sadly, hardly any of it is good. Which is why I feel driven to write you this letter. As cliche as that may seem.

Right now you are sleeping in your pack and play, hopefully dreaming of wonderful things, completely and blissfully unaware of the turmoil facing the world today. I wish I could keep you like this. I wish I could protect you.

But soon you will be walking and talking and getting hurt and facing problems that try as I might I cannot solve for you or shield you from. My heart is breaking for you dear one because I know deep inside that you will face so many more hardships than I have had to. My heart is breaking because I wish your life could stay easy and you could stay innocent.

I do not fear however and neither should you darling. I do not fear because I know that you will be protected by the One who is far better equipped to be your shield than I am. I may not be able to protect you but I can equip you with what you will need. I can read you the Word of God and set an example for you so that in the moments of hardship you are sure to face; you can call on the word of He who loves you so much more than you will ever be able to fathom. He loves you a thousandfold, a million times, infinitely more than I do. And I love you so much baby girl. But I am only a woman and I am weak. I have no real strength of my own; I borrow my strength from the Lord.

Hopefully you will too. Hopefully, when you are faced with hardships, and temptations, and heartbreak, you will stand firmly on the promises of your Heavenly Father. I beg you dear girl, DO NOT BE LIKE YOUR FRIENDS! Do not set them on a pedestal and judge yourself against their attributes and accomplishments. Don’t be like me either. Strive instead to be like Jesus. He is the only perfect example we will ever have. He is the only one who can truly save us.

I know my dear, you are thinking that you have heard all of this before and you are wondering what it all has to do with what you’re facing now. After all, what does Jesus have to do with your classes, your clothing choices, the boy who says he loves you? You are thinking that, “times have changed” and your mother has no clue what she’s talking about. Its okay, I have been your age once and believe it or not I have felt the same way. But I promise you that even when it feels as if there is no one in the world who knows what you’re going through you are not alone. Jesus is still with you.

So please daughter, even if you only read this letter one time before tucking it away in a book or jewelry box or a drawer someplace, please listen to what I am saying. This world is a twisted heartbreaking place. It will try to hurt you and change you even in the subtlest of ways.  It will succeed if you let it and if it succeeds in changing you the enemy of your soul will win. Don’t let him win darling.

Hold fast to Jesus and His promises. He will bring you through. I promise you this one thing only darling because this is the only thing I know for certain. I love you so very much, but my love has limits. The love of Jesus does not.

So please daughter, do not be like your friends, the world, me, your father, your teachers, or any other human. Be like Jesus. Hold fast to Him! And do not fear, with God there is nothing to be afraid of.

Read Romans 12 v. 2 and tattoo these words on your soul,

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

I love you daughter and now I must go back to my chores before you wake up from your nap and want to play. I love you so much.