This is Mama’s letter to you.
I went back and forth in my mind, not certain if I should write these words down. But these words seemed to have a life of their own, and they just would not leave my heart.
So here it is – my heart spilled out for you in the form of this birthday letter.
A Birthday Letter:
This one year has gone by in a blink. It’s true what the Bible says: our life is truly but a vapor.
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (NIV)”
We ought to live it with faith and purpose, courageously pursuing God’s path for our life, leaving no room for regrets.
Papa and Mama waited 5 years for you, not even sure if you will ever end up in our arms. But praise God for His faithfulness, for here you are – in His perfect timing. You have brought so much joy and laughter to all of us and we love you so much. We want the best for you and will always strive to provide the best environment of love and care, but we are also well aware of our limitations. We will fail you on some days, and on those days I pray that you will know the truth – that God is the only One who is perfect and the only Person you can ultimately rely on.
You are in exciting times.
Like Papa said, this world that you are growing up in is in exciting times. You have got to remember that we are called to be set apart for Christ, especially when unexpected events turn our world into a mess. Stand firm on God’s Truth and turn your world upside down with the love and forgiveness of God, for ours is a ministry of reconciliation. That is our life calling.
Our home will always be a safe place for you to come back to. When you enter kindergarten, when you get your first job, when you open your first letter officially addressed to you, when you enter into your first relationship, Papa and Mama will always be putting on brave smiles, knowing that parenting is constantly about learning to surrender and to let go. It will be so hard, and Mama cannot promise not to cry, but I promise we will learn to entrust you to our good God.
Will you ever know how much we love you? And how proud we are of you? Will you ever know how much we will go through just to have the best for you? You may never fully understand, but when you see Papa working hard at his job – receive that as his act of love for you. When you see Mama doing the dishes and attempting to put nice hot meals for all of us every evening – receive that as my act of love for you. It is the simple things. We really do love you. So, so much.
It is from that foundation of love that I pray for you to face the challenges of life outside.
There will be people who reject your friendship. Love them anyway.
There will be people who intentionally hurt you. Love them anyway.
There will be events in life that cause you to be disappointed. Hope in our Savior anyway.
There will be news shared on the television that set a thousand “whys” in your mind on how hopeless this world is. Hope in our Savior anyway.
There will be teachers who do not see you as a whole person but just as a student to mark their time away. Listen to them anyway.
There will be naysayers who do not believe in you or your dreams. Believe in them anyway.
There will be family members who do not love you as much as we wished they would. Forgive them anyway.
There will be temptations around you and people telling you “It’s not wrong because everybody does it.” Do the right thing anyway.
Always, always seek God’s wisdom to do the right thing, my dear. And the right thing – no matter what your circumstance is – always looks like LOVE.
Papa and Mama would give anything for you not to go through the hurt and pain in life. But we also know that it is only in life’s trials and challenges that our character gets molded to be more and more like Christ. So keep yielding your heart to our Heavenly Father who loves you and will give you the grace and strength to obey.
So turn your world upside down (:
Turn your world upside down, my dear. Turn it upside down by doing what the world does not expect you to do. For in your obedience, the world will see you pointing them to Jesus Christ, the only Hope and Savior that is true.
You know something? Papa and Mama forgot to get you a birthday gift. It really slipped our minds and we are sorry. I hope this letter can be your birthday gift. I’m looking forward to having you read this once you are old enough. Perhaps over our weekly cake date.
Happy 1st birthday darling. 🙂
Learn to be kind to yourself, then you will be able to be kind to others.
Lastly, learn to love your enemies too. We are learning alongside you, and will always be your biggest cheerleaders.
We love you,
Papa and Mama