To my daughter, on International Womens Day.
I’m thinking of you as I scroll through posts and pictures of women. Women marked as strong, by every possible definition. And I wanted to talk to you about strength. Because you see, there’s something you have to know about being strong.
Being strong is all about Jesus. The thing is, it’s really hard to be strong. But that’s ok, because you were never meant to walk through life in your own strength. I’ll be reminding you through your life that the “t” in strong is shaped like a cross, and that, dear girl, is where your strength comes from. So while we work hard, we’re resillent and adaptable and unashamed of our intelligence, none of those things are what defines your strength. What defines your strength, is Jesus.
So sweet girl, if you want to be strong, be a woman of the Word. Spend your life learning it, studying it more and more deeply with each passing year. Let it’s living power soak and saturate every part of your soul. Learn from the example of the men and women in it who followed God. Trust it’s authority and submit to it’s teaching. Ask the Holy Spirit to etch the words you read deep into your heart, and live every day of your life in light of them.
If you want to be strong, be loyal. In a world that praises manipulation and backstabbing, know who your people are and watch out for them. Tell the truth, and be kind. Stand by the people you love, and remember that even though relationships are tough, it’s worth sticking it out for your people. And you sweet girl? You’ll always be my people.
If you want to be strong, don’t be silent. When you see someone being hurt, or taken advantage of, don’t be silent. If someone treats you in a way that makes you feel unsafe or ashamed, don’t be silent. Use your voice. Remember that all people are made in the image of God, and you sweet girl, if you believe in Him and ask Him to be Lord of your life, are His daughter. You have dignity and value, and you are adopted as a daughter of the Lord Most High.
And while I pray you will always come to me with your troubles and your hurts, if you feel you can’t come to me, promise me you’ll find one of the strong women who love you. Go to Oma or Gramma, Auntie Kimi or Auntie Jen. Go to one of the strong men who love you, protect you, and cherish you. Go to Daddy or Opa or Grandpa. Go to one of the godly, Jesus-following, Bible-teaching mentors I pray fill your life.
Sweet girl, remember that every time you can’t be strong, Jesus is still strong. When it feels like there’s just too much, Jesus is stronger. So if you want to be strong, be like Jesus. Love Him. Seek Him. Follow Him. And if you ever doubt how much He loves you, ask mama all about how long she prayed for you. I’ll tell you for the ten thousandth time how Jesus made you special and put you in mama’s tummy, a tiny breathing miracle. A good and perfect gift, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.
Love, your mama.