You are getting older, and the world is screaming at you to step into the role of womanhood, even though you are only nine. I can no longer buy you dress shoes without heels, and I had to explain more than I cared to as we walked in the mall and you saw the ceiling-height poster of the scantily clad Victoria’s Secret model with her legs spread open. I watched the horror on your face and the roses pop up in your cheeks as you grappled with why anyone would want to show so much of her body to the world. And while I have to quell your curiosity when you ask me why you can’t search random questions on the internet and look up Google images of whatever pops into your little mind, I know this is only the beginning.
For now, I can protect you, but I know this time is running out, and inevitably you will have to decide for yourself what kind of human you want to be. The world will paint many pictures of womanhood for you, but before you buy into them, here are a few things I want you to know:
1. You are loved…unconditionally, irrevocably, forever. You don’t have to show off your body, compromise your values, or try to be something that you aren’t in order to achieve this love. Before God spoke words and created the world, He knew you. He chose you. He loved you. And He moved Heaven and Earth to save you. When you pursue love, pursue Him.
2. You are unique. There is no category or label that molds perfectly to who you are. In fact, who you are now will be very different from who you are ten years from now. Embrace the gifts that God has given you, and don’t try to fit into someone else’s idea of perfection. Of the seven billion people on earth, there is no one else like you. Embrace who you are, and walk in it with confidence. When you have doubts and insecurities, remember that God doesn’t make mistakes; you are His masterpiece.
3. You should not deny your nature. Being a feminist shouldn’t mean hating men, rejecting all traditional roles for women, or shaving a Nike sign into your nether-regions and posting it on Instagram before marching in Washington. Being a feminist should mean recognizing that all women have value equal to men, yet we are uniquely and beautifully different. I once heard someone say, “I don’t want to be equal because I am not the same. I want to be parallel.” You don’t have to reject traditional roles of womanhood to be powerful. You will be a powerful, strong woman whether you choose to run a company or stay at home with your children. Your power does not lie in your worldly position; it lies in your Kingdom position. You are a daughter of the King of Kings! There are many molds for femininity within the Kingdom of God, from faithful wives to victorious judges. When you look at the world and your role in it, embrace the beautiful qualities that God has designed in you. Your femininity is a gift!
4. You are enough. You don’t need to compare. You don’t need to keep up. You don’t need to document every aspect of your life to prove anything to anyone. You are enough. And when you reach that inevitable point where your feelings of inadequacy threaten to drown you, I need you to remember not just who you are but WHOSE you are. Forget the camera angles and the social media posts. Forget the likes or the friend counts. You belong to Jesus. You are a daughter of the Lord of Hosts. He commands His angels concerning you. When you feel like you aren’t enough, look to Him and you will realize that you never had to be enough…because HE IS.
Sweet M, so much of this world will compete for your heart, but you must be a warrior and keep your focus. God has designed you for this and equipped you to be a powerful, loving, and compassionate young woman. Seek Him with your whole heart, and there is nothing that will be able to stop you. And as always, I will be by your side, proud of the young woman that you are, and cheering on the woman that you will become.