Yesterday, April 25, 2014, you made your grand entrance into the world. You are 8 pounds and 8 ounces of absolute perfection. Truly, you are an excquisite work of art wrought by the hand of our loving Creator. You have no idea how incredibly loved you already are. Your parents, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, church family, and more have prayed for you as you grew in your momma’s belly. And now you are here. And we couldn’t be more excited. You, my dear one, are treasured.
God in His infinite wisdom created you to be a girl. When your mom told me that you were a girl I was elated; get ready for slumber parties, shopping trips, long talks, glitter, the color purple, and more nail polish than any one person should have. Take it from your Aunt B, being a girl is completely awesome. And confusing. And laden with a thousand insecurities. So, I have a few words of advice…
Pay no mind to the size of your hips and just be healthy. Don’t compare yourself to all the other girls. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are beautiful. But never believe for one second that your dress size or complexion is the most interesting or important thing about you; you are a covenant daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords, let that and that alone define who you are and how you live your life.
Don’t chase after boys or be in too big of a hurry to date. And don’t be angry at your parents when they don’t allow you to date at 16. They have your best interest at heart. Trust me, I’ve yet to meet a 16 year old that is remotely prepared to be in a relationship, including myself. And please, please, sweet girl, guard your heart; speak truth to it, dwell in the richness of God’s Word. Seek after Him.
Dress modestly. Just say no to cleavage and exposed mid-drifts. Under no circumstance should you ever wear anything with writing on the butt…there is nothing tackier. I have no doubt that your mom will instill these values in you…but let’s be honest, you’ll listen to your cool Aunt B, right? Right.
When the time comes, let your mom teach you how to properly apply makeup, she’s really good at it. Blending is key.
Be you. Unashamedly, unapologetically you. You will constantly be tempted to blend in with the crowd, to bow to popular opinion. Don’t. Live by your convictions. Hold fast to the Word of God.
Don’t trust your feelings. You’ll experience many of them. All the time. Be slow to act on them. The heart is deceitful above all things. Pray through your feelings, talk to your parents about them (God has given you two truly wonderful parents). Seek wisdom from God’s Word and from your elders.
This list could go on forever and I have no doubt that your parents will teach you and raise you in the ways of the Lord…it’s just that we all wish that we could speak truth into your heart. We wish we could keep you from the heartaches and mistakes that are sure to come. But we can’t. Even so, know this: As unbelievably painful as heartaches and mistakes can be, God will use them to draw you closer to Himself and there is nothing, I mean nothing more important than to be drawn closer to your Savior. Fix your eyes on Jesus, sweet Shelby, fix your eyes on Him and live in His all consuming love and grace that flows into every crevice of our lives.
I love you sweet girl. More than words can say.