Tomorrow you turn 13, my precious daughter! A teenager. I just can’t even…
And yet, I know this turning point in your life shakes your heart too. Actually, you would rather not turn 13, I know. Unlike most girls your age, you don’t really care about growing up and you would just as well stay 12. To you, 13 implies that you are in a new age bracket that stands for teenage angst, scary risks, and launching into a new world of freedom from childish ways. You aren’t interested in make-up, or boys, or navigating this world independently. You don’t have that fierce fight in you, to be detached from authority and make up your own rules. You’re somewhat of a miraculous anomaly, my dear.
Despite your resistance to growing older and becoming a teenager, I want you to understand the many truths you have already discovered in your 13 years. These truths reveal a certainty about who you are, no matter your age- and it predicts the coming years in a profound way.
You see, at 13 years- old, there are parts of you that have been firmly planted in the ground of who you are. These seeds have the potential to blossom in the ripe conditions of living and yes, growing older. What amazes me, is how well you have planted them, nurtured them, and how deeply embedded they are in your fertile soul. You have protected their fragility as they have been at risk through the peril of this world’s weather and I have witnessed them budding forth, with a relentless reverence void of uncertainty. Sprouts are blooming in their infancy, and I have been blessed to witness them grow.
This is the beginning of your internal garden, and I believe you have planted it wisely and with an impeccable gift of great discernment.
I can only pray it continues to flourish in the coming seasons of your life…
Your first seed is one of enduring Faith. This is the most valuable and viable seed you possess. I see your declaration and dependence on a loving gracious God and as we walk this road together, I am inspired by your desire to grow close to Him, understand His Word, and bear the fruits of His Spirit. There is no greater joy that comes from me, in witnessing your love for the Lord and your insatiable hunger for His truth, His guidance, His instruction. Precious daughter, this is your greatest gift. Treasure it, cherish it, feed it, and protect it. There may come a time you question it all, doubt His work or give up on His plan. I will spend the rest of my days fervently praying that this seed’s root grows stronger and deeper through the years and it never withers or dies in the wake of worldly winds. Always remember that no matter where you go or what turns you take in your life, God will always be there for you. This seed is that truth. Please continue to care for it above all others. It is your lifeline and your innermost workings of your heart. Remember His Power and always yield to His Promise, when you are faced with those things that challenge your faith.
Your second seed is Wisdom. You continue to amaze me with your insight on such mature issues and views into this world and the people in it. It’s an incredible dichotomy to see your innocence still revealed in your childlike ways, and yet your awareness of such intimate emotions and ideas on matters of the heart assures me of your keen sense of the inter-workings of people. You are incredibly thoughtful in how you can understand the complexities of problems and the depths of underlying conflicts within difficult situations and circumstances people face. I love nothing more than to counsel you in answering your inquiries and dialogue through tough topics you have had to wrestle with in your growing years. May you always search for understanding and may this seed continue to seek truth as you explore new experiences in your life.
Your third seed is Compassion. You have been given a heart full of passion and love for people. Your smile and your attitude shine brightly on all of those around you. You are sensitive to the feelings and needs of others and your caring and tender ways are appreciated by many. I am constantly inspired by your gestures of support and acceptance of others, and I am so often blessed by your generosity in offering encouragement to me. Don’t ever stop shining your light, my love. It radiates goodness and kindness and unequivocal love that this world so desperately needs. Shine it on the unlovable most, okay? I know it takes great patience and perseverance to do this, but you have both.
Your fourth seed is Grace. This seed of mercy is a rare gift. Your forgiving heart transcends our human inequities, and brings forth a profound and glorious glimpse into the heart of Christ. You are so quick to apologize when called into question, and I am forever grateful that you have forgiven me seven times seventy in my ongoing failings. This seed has been tried and tested and at times you have had to step through your hurt in order to reach the point of grace with others in your life. Your willingness to open your heart to such a thing, astounds me. There will always be people who let us down, and you have been given difficult opportunities to respond with graciousness, despite your heartbreak. Keep tending to this delicate seed, as the soil is still settling. The years ahead will help you cultivate it through ample practice in grasping God’s grace and pouring it out on others.
Your fifth seed is Strength. Oh sweet child, you are so strong. Your younger years have proven to successfully solidify this seed. You have relentless endurance and you fight every day to be the best you can be, despite your natural limitations and the world’s perceptions. Every day I have witnessed you work hard and never give up on whatever trial or task has been presented to you. You continue to forge ahead with an uncanny appetite for commitment and an incredible determination to give it everything you got. You don’t give up, even when you are faced with disappointments and defeat. Your tireless efforts will surely be your greatest asset in God’s plan for your life, as there will always be challenges and difficulties to overcome in whatever you pursue. I pray you continue to stay strong in who you are and how you tackle the tough terrain in this life.
Your sixth seed is Joy. Every single day, when I wake you up from a deep sleep- you open your eyes and smile. Joy exudes you, dear one. This is fascinating to me, because I have never witnessed such an innate gift in anyone. This seed comes quite naturally to you, as you face every single day with joy illuminating your heart and glowing through your smile. It gives you an organic energy that is contagious to others, and surely seems unaffected by the wavering pressure of the climate around you. Keep tending to this seed, with the rich light and spirit that you nourish it with. I have every confidence this seed will stay its course, because it was born in you from the beginning. I pray no matter how much the years bend your bloom, you will never ever allow it to break the stem of this glorious gift you were given.
13 years. It’s a lot to take in, I know. But your garden is already planted, sweetie. There is no need to fear the future, because these seeds?
They will produce a great crop, full of magnificent and miraculous years ahead.
I am absolutely sure of that.