There is a thin facade between this life and eternity, though most of our days are lived in denial of this fact. Yet nothing has brought me to a greater realization of this reality than my role as a mom. This morning, I wrote a letter to my oldest daughter Kate, a letter I hope to one day give to her when she is ready. Though many words are meant just for Kate, I want to share the heart of my letter with you today. As we all interact with and influence the hearts of children in our lives, I pray that we do so with intention, living daily in light of eternity.
My precious, special, firstborn daughter. Five-years old and growing stronger and smarter everyday, I smile at the days to come with you. I am very proud of my big girl.
It is a fact of life that none of us is guaranteed another breath on this earth. I am so grateful for every moment I have already been given as your mom. I have no reason to believe I won’t live another fifty or sixty years on this earth, but I also have no guarantee of that, either. And so I am writing this letter to you now because these are the most important words I could ever impart to you. If you hear nothing else I ever tell you, hear this: love Jesus with everything that you are, and trust Him with everything that you have. Without Him, your life will be meaningless, but in Him, your life will have purpose and meaning that spans into eternity.
I see your passionate living, and I know that in years to come, you will have a great impact in this word. The question remains, though, as to whether or not your impact will be eternally good. I see your passion, and I know that this kind of passion can be reckless and destructive. If driven by your own desires, your passions will run you ragged and leave you empty. But I also know that if you relinquish control and if you submit your strong will to the power of the Holy Spirit, you will be a world-changer. The passionate fire with which you live, molded and formed by the Almighty God, could radically and powerfully change lives for eternity. Nothing would make me prouder.
One of my most favorite verses is Isaiah 26:3 — “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” I bless you with the perfect peace of the Lord, Kate. I pray your days are filled with the riches of our eternal, heavenly Father, and that you trade a restless, fruitless life for the peaceful, fruitful life that is found in Jesus.
I love you, my firstborn daughter, with every fiber of my being. I promise you that I will do everything in my power to raise you in the wisdom and power of Jesus Christ. More than a fun and carefree childhood, I want to give you the keys to true life. And though you won’t always understand, I pray that in the fullness of time you will see and understand the decisions that your dad and I have made. Though at times they may seem unfair, I pray that one day you will know that we made every decision with your best interest at heart. Our decisions will not always be the most fun or the most popular, but you can rest assured that they will be made with great love and care for you.
I leave you with one last promise, and that is found in Ephesians 6:2-3 — “Honor your father and mother, that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Your dad and I will work hard to offer you the best opportunities at life that we can, but in the end, it is up to you how your life will play out. The promise of God is that if you honor us in this life, He will honor you. And the greatest way that you honor me and your dad is by honoring Jesus Christ.
I love you, Kate. I would pen ten thousand words more if that would guarantee that you would read my words and take them to heart. But I think this letter is sufficient to impart to you my greatest desires and prayers for you. I rejoice in you, my daughter, and I pray for your heart always.