Today I have the privilege of introducing you to my husband, Bradley. He is a wonderful husband and a loving and patient father to our children. I am incredibly thankful that he is the Daddy to my girls (and Mason). He teaches and loves them well.
Bradley wrote a beautiful letter to our girls. One that I hope they will read over and over throughout their lives.
When I was quite a bit younger, my parents would tell me something whenever we were going to be separated for a period of time. Whether I was heading off to camp, or they were leaving on a trip, they would tell me the same thing as we parted ways:
“Remember who you are, son.”
It was their way of reminding me to make good decisions while we were apart; to take pause and evaluate things before jumping in. But to my immature ears, all I heard was “Don’t embarrass us, son.” So, as soon as they left, I would roll my eyes and continue doing whatever I was doing. It took me awhile, but as I got a little older, and maybe a little more mature, I started to understand the importance of what they were saying:
Your identity is important, who you are, and whose you are will influence your life immensely.
So I do want you to remember who you are, my girls, not because I’m afraid you’ll embarrass me, but because your identity and your heritage are remarkable.
As you look at your extended family on both my side and your mother’s, you can trace a beautiful story of God’s amazing grace and blessing. You have a great-great-grandfather who decided to forego practicing medicine in America, and instead chose to serve lepers in Africa. You have great-grandparents who served as educators, as pastors, as missionaries and as service members. You have grandparents who consistently look first to see how they can serve those in need around them. They minister to those with broken hearts and broken bodies, they mentor and lead, and they take the good news of God’s love to those who haven’t heard.
You have some pretty strong examples of what it looks like to lead a life of service. As you grow into womanhood, you don’t have to look far up your family tree to find some fantastic women to emulate. You have some pretty amazing aunts, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. If you decide to marry one day and have children you can see in them how to fill those roles virtuously. They have loved and supported their husbands in some pretty challenging circumstances.
Some have packed their bags leaving home to graciously follow their husbands’ callings overseas. Others have watched as their husbands left home to serve their country, raising kids and managing households while their men were away. Every single one of them has given selflessly to their children, putting their needs and cares far above their own. Some have been visionaries and dreamers in their own right.
Your great-grandmother Washer is one of those remarkable women. She saw how marginalized the lives of blind children were in Africa, and she worked doggedly to start a school for them, to care for them, and to prove their value in their communities. And to this day she continues to advocate for them to anyone who will listen.
So be inspired by your heritage. Be humbly grateful for it, because you are incredibly fortunate.
But while your identity as a member of our family is valuable and sure, you can have an identity that far outshines any that comes with being in our family.
As you learn and understand who God is and how you relate to Him, you will see, as we all do, how flawed and full of failure you are. And as you humbly seek Him and express your desire to be His and for Him to be yours, you will be given a new and much better identity.
As an adopted child of God, you will have immeasurable worth. You will be a daughter to the King of Kings; you will be a sister to the Prince of Peace. You will be royalty, my girls— princesses loved and valued more than you can possibly imagine.
And though the price of that adoption was immensely great, it was gladly paid because your heavenly Father loves you so much. He delights in you and smiles at the very thought of you, just like I do.
So let that identity shape you and mold you. Strive each day to live a life worthy of your identity.
Remember who you are.
I wish I could express to you girls just how much I love you. You bring me such joy and delight. I can’t think of anything that puts a bigger smile on my face than coming home from work and hearing you call “Daddy!” as you come and give me a hug. And I am so immensely proud of you girls, so much so that it makes me want to pick you up wherever we are and shout, “Hey, everyone, look! These are my girls, and I love them!”
I am so grateful that my identity is tied to yours– that I get to be your daddy. I am totally undeserving of the gift you are from God, and I will love you forever.
This is Day 29 of a series “Lessons for my Daughters”. Click here for a complete list of posts.