A Letter To My Girl: You Are Always Enough

Always Enough final

My sweet Mae,

As I sit here in bed tonight, snuggled under a blanket and thinking about the last week or so, I can’t help but just say it. We’ve had a week. If I actually said that to you, you’d probably reference a few things.

You’d probably start with the fact that, for the first time this school year, you missed a spelling word on a Monday test. And while the rest of us are over here marveling at your mad spelling skills, I saw the look on your face that afternoon when you climbed into the van at pickup line. The tears didn’t take long to pool on your eyelids, and I hadn’t even pulled out of the parking lot before you told me you’d missed not one, but two, words. And then a friend had teased you, and that made it worse. My heart cracked a little for you that day.

As on any given week, you’d probably mention math homework, too. I am open to the very real possibility that just about every third grade parent may agree that math is the bane of our very existence between approximately 3:30-4:00 p.m. during the week. (And having actually taught third grade math in the past, I can verify that it is, indeed, the math itself and not the teachers and/or doers of math that are the bane. Please, feel deeply for your teachers, especially those of the third grade variety.) Nevertheless, it often becomes a tension point as we struggle to figure out, not just the right answer, but how you actually got that answer. Some days not just our hearts, but our words, crack, too. And we have to apologize and forgive and move forward because we love each other more than math.

And then we’d talk about the spelling bee, too, and how you and your best friend are both wonderful spellers…and how, in general, your class is pretty good at spelling. You’d tell me about how much you love E because the two of you are peas in a pod, and I’m so happy that you have each other. But when you told me on Wednesday that the last spot in the school spelling bee was coming down between the two of you, I think my heart did an inner bleed all over the place. What were the chances? And yet, you prayed and we talked and decided to give it to God and trust Him to take care of who should win, and you told me you’d be so happy for your friend if she won even if you’d be a little sad, too. And my heart didn’t break that time, but man, did it explode. And then God worked it out a little more so you could both go. You wouldn’t believe how big the smile on my face is for both of you, even tonight as I tap these words out.

And then you might get quiet and we’d talk about the thing that’s been hard. Really hard. You’d talk about the operetta (the lower grade musical) and how you got your part last week. And it wasn’t what you’d hoped for. And yet we’d prayed and asked God to give you the part you should have, but His answer wasn’t what you wanted.

But you put on your brave face through it, and you decided you’d do your very best with what you were given and cheer for your friends who got bigger parts.

And Mae, I want to tell you something. It’s a lesson that’s good for an eight year old like you, but it’s also a lesson I think every single person needs to hear.

The world is going to tell you that big and important and being seen are the things that matter most. But the world is wrong.

The truth is that there are going to be many days in your life when circumstances will make you feel like you don’t matter as much as others.  But Mae, those things don’t define your worth. Your worth is not decided in the small role you earned in a musical, whether or not you have a solo, if you win the spelling bee or if you’re the first person out. It’s not decided in the number of people who flock around you or if you have just one or two good friends. The kind of house you live in, the clothes you wear, those things don’t define you either.

Your worth was determined so long ago. Two thousand years ago at the cross, Jesus decided YOU were worth it. He wasn’t looking at the accomplishments you would or wouldn’t have, the people who would or wouldn’t like you, whether or not you’d earn the lead role in a school play. He didn’t care, then, if you would create the most beautiful art or sing with the most perfect pitch.

He saw you as a creation of your Heavenly Father, a beautiful one, and that made you worth dying for. That right there is your worth.

The world is, often, going to make you feel like being someone who is kind to others and willing to serve them isn’t enough.

The world demands the spotlight for worth, but Jesus doesn’t.

And I want you to know that and believe it with your whole heart because I’ve seen it so much. I wasn’t the girl who made the A team, got the solos, or earned the big parts. I did make the spelling bee, probably because of all the nights I read every book I could find because reading was all I had. 😉 I didn’t have a lot of friends, but I had those few faithful ones. I spent more time serving than shining, and it didn’t feel like a gift at age 13 or even at 30. It’s starting to feel like one now, though.

There were many days when it was hard to feel like I mattered, but I’m on the other side of it now, and I know, now, that those things matter. I matter. And so do you.

The world will tell you a lot of lies.

But the Bible will tell you the truth.

And the truth, Mae, is this: You are always enough.

You were enough when Jesus shed his blood for you, and you are enough today. As you are. God made you, and He doesn’t make mistakes.

He knew that the girl named Maelie Naomi, who entered the world that summer afternoon almost nine years ago, would light up the lives of the people who filled her days. He knew she would sparkle and add joy and have a creative streak found in the thousands of words she’d write in her free time and in the hundreds of art projects and drawings she’d do. He knew she’d sing a song that didn’t follow the world’s and that occasionally she’d pound it out on the piano, too. He knew she’d find a kindness through His love that she would share with those around her. He knew she’d be a treasure.

And, sweet girl, you are a treasure to so many people.

Mae, the world might not tell you that you matter. But Jesus tells you that you do.

Often, I pray Isaiah 43:1 over myself, and over you.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Mae, you are redeemed. His child.

You’ve been called by name.

You are His. His, Mae. HIS child, and there’s more worth in that than you’ll ever find in anything here on this earth.

And you may feel, today, like you don’t matter, but I want to tell you this.

You mean so much to your Father.

God is working on His masterpiece in you, and He’s not finished. Today, you are who you’re supposed to be, and in His time, He’ll make you into who you will be. Who you’ll be might be that person who shines from a stage, or you might shine for Him, instead, behind that stage. You might have a job someday where everyone notices you or you might be that stay at home mama I know you dream of being, the one who faithfully does her thing and tries to do it the best she can while desperately clinging to her mug of caffeine. You may go far and wide to preach Jesus to others or you might stay right in your neighborhood and show Jesus to the neighbors next door. You might write a bestseller (and knowing how you write, I wouldn’t be surprised) or you might be the girl who obediently writes words because God has one person out there who needs to read them.

As long as you stay with Him, walk with Him, and trust Him you’ll never miss out on a thing He has for you.

Tonight you’re going to bed with a bit of a heavy heart and sadness, wondering what went wrong. I don’t have any answers for you, sweet girl, but I do know that I love you…to the moon and back plus infinity…just as you are.

You are enough…for Him and for me, your daddy, Mac, and all those who love you.

I’m so proud of you, and I can’t wait to see what He’ll do with your life.

Love,
Mama

Photo by Dids from Pexels

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