My sweet girls,
I am blessed to be a mom of daughters. I have learned to wonder and glory rather than wallow in the mysteries of womanhood because of you.
You are women. Created stunningly and purposefully to be just that. While womanhood will translate in a kaleidoscope of ways from each of you and from every woman you know, it boils down to this: you are women, created and endowed by the Creator with His beauty. Image bearers of God’s nurturing, life-giving, gentle stability.
Do not be harsh to yourself. If it would hurt coming from some other source, do not be the one to say it about yourself. As my mama always says, “Don’t talk about my baby that way!” So if it would cause harm coming out of someone else’s mouth, it is causing harm floating around in your head. You are beautiful not because of some physical attribute you have been blessed with, but because it is the depth of who you are. God’s life in you, spilling out into those around you is where your beauty lies. It is what makes the world captivated by you when you walk into a room, and it is what will make you ageless. You are smart, not because of your achievements or grades, but because the Spirit living in you has all knowledge and understanding- which you can tap into any time you ask!
Rejoice in your body. It will forever be changing, but each time it does it will be a reflection of God’s redemption plan. Women’s bodies have the unique ability to bring life into the world. To be the very vessel where new life is created. We see over and over again in God’s story that the old life has to pass away through the shedding of blood, and through this, God brings new life. As miserable (and gross) as it may seem now, your body gives you a miraculous reminder of this every month. And when and if you do have children, biologically or adopted, your body and your heart will bear the scars of this process. Every time you see stretch marks, grey hairs, extra pounds, or sleep circles think on the scars that were borne for you, so that you too, might have new life and be called an heiress of the Most High God. And then, someday, your body will stop doing all of these things. The monthly reminder will end, and the ability to bear children will come to a close. Though it may seem horribly sad now, it too is a picture of God’s purpose. For there is coming a time when the need for new life and bloodshed will end, and we will enter into a glorious rest. Though it seems a loss to leave all the sweetness (though mixed with excruciating pain) this earth has to offer behind. It is nothing compared to the glorious end Jesus has prepared for those who love him. Your body is a picture of the Gospel, do not diminish it by believing it to be anything less.
As a woman you will grow up hearing more and more about your rights. Indeed, history is rich with heroic stories of women fighting to be liberated from bondage that holds them back from fullness of potential and purpose. These stories are empowering, and many of them should be! However, know this: your ultimate oppressor has no human face, no standing institution or government, it is the father of lies, who looks to snuff out your power as a woman. He will tell you that you are worthless. He will tell you that you are a failure. He will tell you that you must put emotion and empathy aside in order to be successful in a man’s world. He will tell you that you are frail. He will fill your head so fully with tiny, seemingly harmless lies that embed themselves into the very tapestry of who you are. He will send others to tell you no, when God says yes. He will heap upon you guilt, fear, and self-loathing. He will tell you, you must fight for your right to choose, to control your body, because you are the only one who will. He will tell you life is not valuable, that sexiness is both shameful and significant. He will tell you that sex is less than an extravagant gift from God, and he will try to use it in various ways to make you feel tarnished. He will shackle you to busyness, to comparison, to unspoken competition with other women. He will say you are alone. He will hand you a mental vault so that you may collect all of the false evidence he puts in your path, confirming the lies he has woven. He will tell you there is no hope, that you are broken and beyond repair. And if given the chance, he will destroy you.
And yet, God, in his all-consuming mercy, has heaped upon you truth. Glorious, liberating truest-truth. He says you are worth more to him than all of creation- and oh, how he cares for even the birds! He says that in Him you are more than a conqueror! He says that gentleness makes you great! He says that he is your strength! He says that you will know truth and it will set you free! He says that in Jesus all of his promises are Yes! He says he has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind. He says in Him, there is no disapproval or disappointment, that you are His child. He says not only is your body His masterpiece, but that He has made it His dwelling place, and He fights for what is His- and God does not lose. He says it is by His hand, His breath that life is given. He says that your desire for Him is what makes you attractive and praiseworthy. He says sex is a gift for your enjoyment, and holds the relationship between a man and his wife in such high regard that He has made it the very reflection of his own relationship with His people! He will call you to be Mary, to sit restfully at His feet as He soothes your weary heart and mind. He will repair your broken relationships, and teach you to be vulnerable to new ones if you allow Him. He will never leave you! He holds the key to the past, present and future, and will gently and carefully unlock that vault and replace all of it’s contents with treasures from His Word. He says He is your hope! He says He is your healer, and as He is the one who created you, there is nothing broken that cannot be fixed by Him. And if given the chance, He will bring you to life.
My Loves, I long for you to be confident, to walk through life with an ever-present wake of kindness and awe. I long for you to know your worth, and to live full, adventuresome lives. But above all, I long for you a deep-down, fire-in-your-bones love for Jesus. It is only in Him that your understanding of womanhood will be fully realized, and your own identity for that matter. And only in Him that you will be a woman liberated.
Love and kisses,