When my brother’s oldest daughter, Bailey, turned 13, they had party to celebrate her transition from child to young woman. It was a different kind of party – Bailey invited women in her life whom she viewed as Godly women to a blessing ceremony. They were not to bring gifts but words that would be a blessing to Bailey ….wisdom that she could use as she moved into adulthood. I was very honored to be asked to attend and very disappointed that I couldn’t make the party as it was in Texas. I sent a letter for my brother to read to her. With Bailey’s permission, I am publishing it here.
May all of our lives be a testament to Love.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I received a package in the mail here in Raleigh. It was a video tape from your parents. You had just been born a few weeks earlier and as I had not yet seen you, they sent me a video (an old-fashioned DVD) documenting your “activities”. I took it to work and showed it to my friends. I was already proud of you. It doesn’t seem possible that we should be “here” now – with you on the brink of claiming the title of young woman.
Your next few years will go by quickly and will be filled with changes….high school, dating, college!…..and oppportunities. You are a precious girl with a soft heart – you have already shown an interest in helping others with your sign language- and you will find, even at your young age, you have a lot to offer others. You will also find that the friends that you have and make over these next few years will be friends the rest of your life.
As you and your friends acquire more freedom to make your own decisions, you may see people make thoughtless choices. (We all make some!) Sometimes they will be choices that affect their relationship with their parents and the trust they had built with them; sometimes they will be unwise choices that affect their education; occasionally, you will see someone make a choice that has far-reaching effects on their young lives. Regardless of the mistake, there is always a path back to God and it may be God’s love they see in you, Bailey, that helps them see that.
My guess is you may also find yourself in situations when you feel you’re the only clear head in the room. That happened to all of us, too. Pray for wisdom and God will give it to you! Don’t be afraid when you are the only one who can see the danger in unwise choices. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and for your faith. Don’t be afraid to do the right thing even when it is unpopular. You’ll be rewarded for your wisdom.
If I with you at your party today, I would encourage you to remember these three things:
1) Who you are. More than anything else, I want you to know that you have everything you need to fulfill the purpose God has for your life. You are loved by parents who couldn’t love you more, a family that thinks you hung the moon, and by your Creator who loves you more than we are capable of ourselves. And He tells you-
- I have loved you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
- The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17.
2) Fret Not! This is something all of us girls in particular have to work on. Some of us always need to have a plan ; )…..this is a good trait, but there will always be things in our life we can’t control. There are around 100 verses in the Bible that say “Fret not”, “Fear not”, “Do not be afraid” or “Do not worry”. He knows us and wants us to know He is in control (with a plan!). We have to believe in what we cannot see. And know that He is there.
- The Lord..who created you, says: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
- Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalms 37:7-8
3) Love God and make Him the desire of your heart. Reading your Bible and having friends you can talk about God with, helps to keep Him on your heart.
- I pray that you may grasp…how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:17-19
Bailey, if I were there today, I would put my hand on your sweet head, and give you this blessing in person:
Precious Bailey Erin Warner,
First child of my brother,
First niece of mine,
Child of God.
Go from this place of blessing
Knowing the Lord has plans for you, Bailey.
Plans we cannot imagine, plans for good,
Plans to fulfill the unique purpose He made you for.
I pray that as you go through this life,
You rest in His unfailing love,
That you draw strength from our love, and
That your life is a testament to the power of Love.
With much love,