this one’s for my little sisters, who know I love Truth & a good dare
I think you’re special. In fact, I know so! My God swears you are, and what He says and thinks goes. You’re special. The God who spoke stars and tides and mountain ranges into existence in a split second took His time on you. You’re His finishing touch, His grand finale, His pride and all of His joy. The same hands that pioneered creativity itself created you. You were handcrafted by the best, with deep thought and divine attention to detail. His own breath turned dust to Life because He wanted a world with you in it. Your bear Glory’s signature; my God made you just right. He loves the you He handmade. So do I! I wish you loved her too.
I wish I could shake the insecurity and the not-enough right out of you. You were not made to critique your every part. You’ve been tricked into thinking you’re a disappointment, a list of problems, a statistic or nothing special. You are not my “project”. You are never ever a burden. You are not a size or a GPA or a number of likes or pounds or dots or stars. You’re my girl! Deep down in you, I see color and influence and wisdom and someday dreams and joy and a future you and I will be proud of. If only you’d see the you I see, the you He made you to be.
I’m no exception to insecurity, but He and I have a good thing going. Every day, He tells me the the Truth about you and me, all His wild and colorful thoughts about the Ones He handmade. He keeps it plain and simple, kid-friendly, steady and sure. He says so until it settles deep inside me, until I’ve memorized it backwards and forwards, then compels me to go and tell you. Tell her the truth. Tell her over and over again until it means something, until it’s deep-rooted, until she can repeat it right back to you. Tell her this way and that way, handwritten and over coffee and in a surprise text. Tell her until it defines her, until she starts to believe Me herself.
Though the world is set on convincing you otherwise, I’ll keep telling the Truth. For God so loves you! Better yet, His Love claims you, speaks “enough” over you and overstates I love you. His love renames you, calls you chosen and worth it and beautiful and His. His Love’s like no other. It is so wide and so high and so deep and so long, you can’t contain it. On your best days, you can’t define or adequately describe it. His Love is loyal, fierce, immovable no matter how much you sway. It surpasses all parameters, knows no condition, requires nothing in return. His Love is sufficient; it never shows up late or puts you second or runs out or abandons. It’s the forever-after kind. Best part? His Love’s yours for the taking. Here’s what is True: you are loved, significant, special and handmade no matter what names the world stuck on you. His Love sets you free, calls you closer to Himself, does not condemn you when you fall. He lavished His Love all over you, that you’d be called His girl. His Love is my anthem and it’s longing to be yours. I dare you to let it.
I dare you to live a 2017 marked by His Love. I dare you to choose it, to hold tight to it, to let it redeem and redefine you. I dare you to love the you He handmade. It will take grit and certainty with a dash of crazy–no one’s doing it. It’s counter-cultural,. it goes against the way the whole world spins. It will take every ounce of courage you’ve got. I dare you to fight to hear God’s voice over the hype and white noise of the world. When everybody’s swearing you’re not good enough or skinny enough or successful enough or popular enough or pretty enough or important enough, lean in. Really listen. He’ll assure you, you’re you enough. I dare you to hear Him out, to take really good notes, to stake your identity in His word and Your hope in His promises. I dare you to trust Him at His Word, to let what He says dress you. I dare you to count your victories and list out your gifts, to color your dreams a little outside the lines. To look in the mirror less, to fight growing up and fitting in. To dig deep and hunt for the gold He set within you and refuse to let it sit stale there. I dare you to shake your past off, to forget last night and last year, to step into the freedom of what He’s got next for you. I dare you to hold tight to the Good News though the world’s screaming headlines that hold just the opposite. I dare you to claim His word as absolute Truth, to wear holy confidence in the things He swears are true of you. You’ll look different, you’ll catch eyes and the good kind of attention. You’ll see a bunch of little you’s wondering what you have that they don’t and one just might ask you how to get it. Sound familiar? It’s how you and I started out.
If she asks, I dare you to let bravery loose and tell her your whole story start to finish. Tell her the before, the after and all the in-between. Don’t sugarcoat or water down or keep things out. Brag on His Love, how wide and high and deep and long it is. Dare her: it’s yours for the taking too! I dare you to speak up, to speak loud, to tell her steady and clear as day who and Whose she is. Tell her the Truth about you and me and her, all the good things He told me and I told you. Crazy things happen when you sell out to defend and declare the Truth to somebody not yet believing it. I dare you to keep telling her so, and maybe you’ll someday taste my story. It will settle deep inside you, you’ll memorize it backwards and forwards, and before you know it, you’ll start believing Truth for yourself too.
J, my girls are in really really good, trusty hands. I trust You. I trust You. I trust You. Will You come alive to them, right in front of my eyes? Will you show them just who you made them to be? Will you give me words and favor and holy confidence in the Truth I’m claiming? Will you use me? Will you use them? To love them is an honor–thanks for letting me.