To my Gift Girl and Blessing Boy,
There is so much I want to say and so much I want you to know. I've tried to start this letter more times than I can count, but I get overwhelmed by not knowing where to start and give up. Every.time. Not this time. There are some things I need to pass on to you and be sure that you know.
First, God loves you more than you can ever imagine. He desires a deep, personal relationship with you and sent His Son to die on the cross to make it possible. Each day you wake up He is offering His free gift of salvation to you. Oh, how I pray you'll accept this gift and spend your lives living courageously for Him, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you.
Daddy loved you with his whole heart. You were his pride and joy. You made him smile, laugh, and have a reason to get up each morning. More than anything, he prayed that you would accept God's free gift of salvation and live your lives for His glory. I will continue to pray this same thing, even in his absence. It is my heart's greatest desire for you. I promise to do the best I can to follow Christ and obey His call on my life, even in the hard. Even when I am tired. Even when other things look easier and more fun. I will do my best to live in such a way that God's presence is clear to you in every moment.
Other than my pleas for your salvation, this may be the most important thing I pray for you: love the Lord with all your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength. This will impact and change everything you do in this life. It won't always make things easy or perfect, but it will always mold you a little more into a woman and man who is more like Jesus every day, in every way. It will give you the strength and bravery to face anything that comes your way.
Remember who created you. You were knit together by the very hand of God. He knew your name before you were even a thought to anyone here on earth. He saw each one of your days before they were even lived. You are loved and personally designed by the God who spoke all things into existence.
Remember that everyone you meet, regardless of skin color or economic class or social status was knit together by the very hand of God. He loves each of them as much as He loves you. He desires a deep, personal relationship with each of them as much as He desires the same with you. He sent His Son to die in their place, too. Oh, precious children, love people. Love.People. Love them because of your love for God and your desire to love what He loves. Love them so they can see the God is real. That's all the reason you need. Every life is valuable because they were made by God and He loves them fiercely. Loving people is hard and messy and scary. BUT GOD commands it, blesses it, and gives you all the strength and patience you need to love others as He loves them.
If you can do those last three things, the life you create will be God-honoring, point many to Christ, and be the most amazing, crazy, hard, spectacular, ugly beautiful adventure you will ever know. If you do those things then your job won't be a job, but just one more way to love God and love people. It will enable you to be God's hands and feet here on Earth, which is what God asks His children to be. Oh, how I pray that salvation comes to your souls while you are young so you have many years to know Him, love Him, and serve Him. How I pray that my failures and shortcomings serve to show you even more of God's grace, mercy, and love.
Father, let my life, in every area, declare You to my children. Let them see You in my every action and word. Give me the bravery and strength and love to pour myself out for you in my home, in my church, and wherever You place me on any given day. Be the father they no longer have here on earth. Draw them close. Whisper Your love to them every day. Declare Your goodness in each moment. Use our little family, broken and human as it is, to declare You to a lost and dying world.