For most girls, twelve is a year of great physical change, of a widening world, of the awkwardness that comes in the in-between.
The years that follow twelve are often marked by insecurity and self-doubt. Many feel pulled by the pressure to "fit in" and also the call to stand out.
Twelve is a fork in the road. When faced with the path less traveled or the path of least resistance, so many girls just can't decide. The world would call this uncertainty a lack of self-worth. But, I see it differently.
The truth is, self ANYTHING can not be trusted. It vacillates and wavers with the wind. It is fleeting. When we point our girls to SELF for their worth, we point them to imperfection. We doom them to a life of never measuring up- of always feeling not-quite-good-enough. Because in and of themselves, they never can be enough. It is only in Christ that they can find real worth.
My daughter is twelve. She's approaching the turbulent teen years. In my love for her, I do not want to build in her a worth that will waffle and change. I want to point her to a worth that is constant. Never-wavering. I want to show her a worth that is rooted in truth not her own effort.
I want to stir in her a GOD-WORTH...I want her to see herself as God sees her.
In an attempt to build in her a worth grounded in God, I called upon twelve women who know her and love her- twelve women who know and love God...her grandmas, aunts, mentors, and other mothers in her life. I asked them each to write her a letter that pointed to one attribute of God-worth as shown through Scripture. I compiled all of these letters into a photo journal for her so that one day when emotional and physical changes get the better of her and feelings of insecurity and doubt displace truth, she can look to God and see herself for who she really is, Beloved.
Knowing how much the book has meant to her, my daughter has given me permission to share the dedication page, my letter to her, and the list of twelve truths in hopes that other mothers might encourage their daughters to build a God-worth.
Dedication Letter in the Book of Twelve
At twelve years old, you are no longer a little girl. You are a young lady. The next few years will be filled with many changes in your life. They'll be exciting and full of great memories. But, they might also be sprinkled with fear and anxiety. You'll have one hand eagerly reaching ahead into womanhood and one hand grasping back for the comfort of childhood. At times, this back-and-forth pull might leave you feeling confused and out of place. Please know that you are not alone. This is the journey that we all have taken.
We are twelve women who love you and want to encourage you as you face the days ahead. You have so much to look forward to in the teen years! If you allow Him, God can use you in a mighty way. We've put together a book of twelve truths you can take with you as you grow. We hold them out to you as a reminder of who you are to us, but most importantly, who you are to Christ. If you ever doubt your worth, look to these pages and cling tightly to the love of the Savior.
God is writing a great story for your life, and we're so grateful to be a part of it!
You are loved.
Never forget how very much I love you. I love you for YOU...not because of what you do or don't do, what you say or don't say, how you act or don't act. No. I love you because you are worthy to be loved. You are my favorite girl in all the world! I love you for YOU.
But, I'm not the only one. God has wrapped you with the arms of a family, and many friends, and a community of Believers who all love you for YOU. Sadly, there may be times when even in the midst of all of them, you won't feel loved.
Someday down the road, the enemy of God might try and convince you that you are unlovely or unlovable. He might whisper lies into your heart and mind. And when he does, remember THIS- even when we, in our humanness, might fail to show you the love you need and deserve, God loves you. And His love never fails. He loves you with a love that cost Him everything...with a love that gave His own Son. Christ stretched out His arms wide in His love for you. His love for you is eternal, never-ending. It does not come with conditions or a list of expectations. It is a free gift.
Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels no rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
There is nothing you could ever do to make Him love you any more. So, don't ever feel like you have to do something to earn His love. There's nothing more to earn. You already have it all. And there's nothing you could ever do to make Him love you any less. His love is forever and always.
You are loved. God loves you. I love you.
Twelve Truths with Scripture References
- You are loved. (Romans 8:38-39)
- You are accepted. (Romans 8:31)
- You are complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)
- You are capable in Christ. (Philippians 4:13)
- You are being perfected for a good work. (Philippians 1:6)
- You don't have to be afraid. (2 Timothy 1:7, Hebrews 13:6)
- You are chosen. (Ephesians 1:4, 11)
- You are forgiven. (Isaiah 43:25)
- You have purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- You have hope. (Ephesians 1:12)
- You are included. (Ephesians 1:13)
- You are not alone. (Psalm 73:23)
In the coming years, I pray she draws close to Christ. It is only in Him that she will find worth.