A Letter to my 12 year old on Her Birthday

I squeezed you tight this morning and you walked out the door. Holding back the tears I didn’t want you to see me cry. You were excited to get to school and see your friends on your birthday. My words were too much and not enough all bottled up behind a dam of tears. “Happy birthday, I love you” was all that would slip past the rocks holding the flood in the back of my throat.

I am sitting now in the middle of the kitchen; a to do list full of preparations to celebrate you in front of me. I clutch my coffee and the tears flow freely. And so do my words.

I want you to know that you are loved.

So loved, more than you can possibly fathom.

I want you to hear that I am sorry. Sorry for how human I am and the mistakes that I have made.

I need you to understand that my strongest desire is that you choose Jesus. Every single day.

I pray you remember to turn to God and his wisdom. That you will know his presence especially when I am not there.

I hope, so desperately, that the truth I have spoken and tried to live, is what you remember when life is difficult.

I dream of a future where you will always come home and want to be with your Mama.

Everyday you are becoming more independent. I can’t stop it. It is how I have raised you to be. I see you trying out your independence like a new dress. Seeing what parts of you will be available to the world and what parts of you will be kept hidden. And my heart wants to grab you back. To pull you home and never let you go. To make you be 5 again when tea parties and hair bows were our biggest concerns.

But confidence looks good on you my sweet daughter. You are standing well in the midst of life’s pressures. I choose today to give you back again to the One who gave you to me 12 years ago. I can surrender my precious child because my God is trustworthy and faithful.

The world can be hard, unpredictable and scary. You know truth and my dear baby girl I pray it is the cornerstone of your life. That you can square your shoulders, choose confidence, love and be unwavering in who and whose you are in a world that wants to toss you back and forth among the the stormy waves.

Today, be Sunshine in the darkness. Laugh loud and long. Don’t be afraid to be all of you. You are purposed and unique. Created for such a time as this. You have been given everything you need to thrive where you have been planted. The Holy Spirit equips and empowers you. Don’t forget the truth and wisdom of God that is your anchor.

And have the Happiest of Birthdays.

Love you forever,


2 thoughts on “A Letter to my 12 year old on Her Birthday”

  1. happy tears because every word you’ve written resounds with my mama’s heart…oh how being a mama is a mingling of heartache and joy on the daily. thanks for sharing your heart sweet girl. love you! a

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