Today is your 5th birthday. It's hard for me to fathom that you have already reached this milestone, but here you are none the less. Bright, vibrant, funny. Still so full of sweetness and innocence and the beauty that comes from possessing those two things. As hard as it is for me to believe that you are already five, it's even harder to for me to comprehend that one day you too will be an adult. There are so many things I'd like to teach you before you get there. So many things I want you to understand.
I'm far from old and wise (just to be clear, I'm farther from old than wise), but I've learned a thing or two that I think you might find useful as you grow.
Everything here on earth is fleeting. Your favorite toy, a beautiful house, memories, and memories of your experiences, even friends and family will all fade away at some point. While the loss of these things can be very painful and bring you great sorrow, you will always be content in life if you understand this. God is not fleeting. He walks with you always. He is the only thing in your life that will last forever and your pursuit of Him is the only thing that will ever bring you lasting contentment.
When I was 16 a 60-something woman asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I answered honestly, I wanted to be a wife and a mother. These two things were my heart's desire since I was 10 years old. She responded by saying that that was not acceptable, in this day and age a woman should pursue a career. I did not take her advice. Instead I followed the desires that God had placed in my heart. I married your father and then had you. I've done my best to be obedient to the convictions God placed in me and it has brought me great peace. You are by nature a worrier. (I blame your father) Because of this you may struggle to find peace. Have faith. There will be many times throughout your life that things will spiral out of your control and you won't be able to see where God is taking you. You might even feel completely alone. Don't worry, I assure you that even in these darkest and most difficult times in your life, God is still at work. His plans and purposes will be revealed to you in His time. Victor Hugo once said, "Have courage for the great sorrows in life and patience for the small. And when your daily task is done, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." Baby girl, God is always awake.
Throughout your life people will tell you that money, experiences or things will bring you happiness. They will be right. Little girl, I want you to understand this. Happiness is as fleeting as anything else you could find here on earth and that the pursuit of happiness can quickly become a very selfish one. Instead seek joy. Joy that can only come from the peace and contentment you will find in faith, obedience and aspiring to live your life according to God's will. My heart overflows with the joy you have brought to my life. I'm thankful to God every single day that He chose to let me raise you. I hope I can make Him as proud doing this as you make me everyday.
Finally, baby girl, it would be wrong of me not to be honest with you. No matter how hard you try, at some point in your life you will fail. It's O.K. It's not failure that defines you but how you choose to react to it. Pick yourself up, forgive yourself just as God already has and try again.
I love you so much and you make me proud everyday.