It’s my daughter’s birthday today and I’ve been thinking of her all week and what it means to have a daughter who is turning thirty-(mumble-mumble). What an absolute joy it has been to watch her continue to grow as a wife, mother, and friend to so many and how she gives of herself to help others.
I’ve never understood the dad who isn’t capable of loving his daughter and allows her to grow up in the world without the love she deserves. Your daughter is worthy of love, just as she is. Love isn’t something you earn and she needs it most when she feels like she deserves it least. Treasure her and show her she can trust you so she can rest knowing someone will always be in her corner.
She is living in a very broken world and you won’t be able to protect her from every pain and challenge that comes her way. Be the voice that inspires her to courage in the face of trouble and resilience when recovering from it, realizing the future can always overcome her past. She will make mistakes, same as you, and will need to understand that none of us have to be perfect so show her how to embrace the power of forgiveness, especially of yourselves and the joy of getting up again and pressing on for something better.
She will want to know she isn’t alone in the universe, that Someone has her in his hands who loves her more than anyone else in this world possibly could, including me! And he will help her navigate the twists and turns of life and find great joy in freeing her to be all that he created her to be.
Loving her and being there is enough. You don’t have to force your wisdom or ways on her. Be ready to serve her when she desires it, help her where she wants it, but don’t try to control her life to make yourself happy. Never begrudge her the joy of growing up and finding her way in the world. If she learns integrity, thoughtfulness and considerations of others, she will find a life worth living.
A daughter deeply loved is a gift to the world. She will recognize others around her did not grow up with the same love she did and through kindness and generosity she can share that love with others that they didn’t get from others.
No matter how old she gets, she’s will always be your little girl and when she walks into a room your heart will light up. Her joy is your joy; her pain your pain. No one touches the same place in your heart as she does.
J, from the first time I held you to the last time I hugged you and every moment in between being your dad is one of the richest treasures of my life. You are all these things and more, and I couldn’t be more proud of you and the life you live.
Happy birthday, Sweetheart! Every day celebrate the life God gave you. You live it well!