I wanted to post this closer to Harper's birthday... but the birthday festivities began before I got to it... and after it all wrapped up, our family has been sick ever since.
This entire last week, you were dealing with double ear infections, my girl (one of them even ruptured - ouch!), which has only happened to you once before. Too much birthday fun, I guess ;)
Harper, I've been there and I know two things: your mama and dada's love will never end, no matter what; and Jesus is the only sure thing to hold on to in this life - He is big and He is good.
I love you my sweet, baby girl!
A Letter to Harper
My sweet girl,
Today you turn four. Four. Your body is still so tiny, but your spirit is larger than life. Reflecting an unhindered version we adults have mostly lost touch with.
Yesterday, your Mimi handed me a button that said, “Bearly 4 today!” It’s the very button my daddy gave to me on my fourth birthday. I wore the button on the lace collar of my floral, navy blue dress. He took me to lunch, just the two of us, and I got to play on the playground while he looked on. I felt so special. Loved. Adored. To be on that date with just my dad.
Four is the first birthday I can vividly remember. Four was the year our family moved into the house I most remember from my childhood. Four was the year I became friends with Jesus. Four was when I started a few important childhood friendships.
Four is a big deal my girl.
As if I didn't believe it before: Every memory holds impact. Every interaction shapes your character. Every little thing that pours into you will eventually come out.
It is my prayer, on the harder days... the days when your faith falters, when your heart breaks, when you wonder your worth... you'll remember your mama's prayers for you. That you'll remember Jesus holds you close.
- I pray your spirit will never be dampened. That you will never allow others to smother the radiant light God has put inside of you. That your joy, which makes your eyes sparkle, your dimple on your cheek to appear, your laughter to light up the darkest moment... will never be erased. “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. Matthew 5:16
- I pray you will hold onto hope, keep it high as the heavens. That you will believe life is worth living with everything you have. No matter how faint your heart feels from circumstances, new beginnings are always possible. “Put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption”. Psalm 130:7
- I pray the Lord protects your beautiful, beautiful heart. Keep it soft towards growth. Keep it open to love. It is the most vulnerable, most real part of who you are. Others will tell you it's about your beauty, your face, your body... that's not true my girl. "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23
- I pray you will overflow with love for others. Love for anyone God puts near you. Love for the hurting, the weak, the lonely, the invisible people. A love that transcends differences. Don't overlook the importance to love yourself as well; to be kind to yourself. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”. 1 Corinthians 13:13
- I pray your eyes will look to Jesus. In this life, you will have to navigate successes and failures, weather storms, carry burdens. Jesus can make these moments so much lighter, if you let Him. People will come into your life who you will think are special. But remember they are not perfect. Jesus is the only one who cannot disappoint. "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith..." Hebrews 12:2
- I pray no fear, no shame, no insecurity could ever make you feel unlovable. Nothing could cause your dad and I to close our hearts, eyes, or arms to you. Better yet, Jesus has loving kindness for you, always. "But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your loving kindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress." Psalm 59:16
- I pray if someday you feel stuck in life or find yourself bound to a hurtful habit... that you'll remember true freedom is within grasp. Jesus can break any bondage you may find yourself within. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
- I pray you find the beauty and meaning in the very hardest, perhaps impossible, things to understand. This has been hard for me. But this will be the bravest, most real and meaningful path you could tread. "...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair..." Isaiah 61:3
These are just a glimpse into your mama's prayers for you, Harper. Keep these things close to your heart. I love you forever, my sweet baby girl.