I have been thinking a lot lately.
I have been thinking about all of our mornings at Starbucks and the conversations we have had about God and life.
I have been thinking about all the nights we laid in your bed and asked questions and talked about all of your dreams.
I have been thinking about all the hikes we have taken and how we talked about beauty and peace and contentment and joy.
Those are the most amazing moments I have ever had in my life.
I will never forget them as long as I live.
But while we have shared in so many special moments and had so many amazing conversations, in too many ways, I have been the stereotypical man, unable to fully open up and express my heart and my feelings to you.
So first let me say that, even though I tell you every night that I love you… I really do love you with all of my heart. And there will never be another man in your life who will love you as much as I do. But I pray that there will, one day, be a man who comes close to seeing you as I see you… and loving you as I love you.
I don’t ever want you to forget that your worth and value and beauty come from God and God alone… and that is the most liberating reality you will ever experience. In that truth you will never have to measure up to the unreasonable expectations of our society or of any man about how you should look, what you should believe about yourself, or how you should act.
You are worthy and valuable and beautiful and loved… simply by being you.
And that will never change.
So refuse to ever buy into another narrative about yourself. Because other narratives are cheap fabrications that promise you everything, but will never come close to your true identity, worth, and value as a daughter of God.
The images you are bombarded with in commercials, television shows, and on the front of magazines are trying to convince you of their standard of beauty and how you can attain it.
The truth is that your beauty does not come from the make-up you wear, the style of your hair, the curviness of your body, the perfection of your skin, or the youthfulness of your appearance. Your beauty comes solely from the radiance of God in the way that you humbly and lovingly let God work through your life.
That is unsurpassed beauty. And I hope and pray that you will never forget that.
Your worth, value, and beauty are also not defined by or dependent upon any man.
You are no less of a woman for remaining pure and waiting to have sex with your future husband.
Sure you will hear the loud and mocking voices calling your decision antiquated and naive, but having your heart intact and not shattered into a million pieces is invaluable.
Some things are worth the wait. And this is one of them.
You will be told by many that engaging in sex and sexual activity is completely normal and natural before you are married, but if a young man does not respect you as a young woman and your pursuit of purity then he is not worthy of you.
You are not a means to his end.
Yes that is an incredibly high standard, but you are worth it. And you do not have to compromise or settle for anyone, ever.
You are a beautiful young woman who God will use in amazing ways throughout your life. I love you with all of my heart.
I will always be incredibly proud to be your father.