Six weeks ago our family dedicated Kensington, and as I wrote, each of us prayed about a specific virtue, character trait for her that would be manifested throughout her life. I thought I’d share what I wrote for her.
I awoke this morning (August 29, 2012) to a picture on the news of a little girl, probably six years old, in the arms of a U.S. soldier. She laid there with her legs dangling on either side of the soldier’s lap, her head facing his chest and resting on it. His arms were wrapped around her. Her head was shaven and the back of it had a several inch stitched incision on it from being shot in the head by insurgents who killed her parents and siblings before her eyes. She was left to die, but amazingly survived. A little girl a few years older than you, left orphaned by atrocity. And oh, how I pray those gentle and strong arms of the soldier aren’t the last trusting, loving embraces she’ll receive.
The morning progressed to the news of one of my dearest friend’s grandmother’s passing. The last of her grandparents, the end of an era. And behold yet more news of the loss of a baby in a friend’s womb. Grief. Shattered lives. Pain. Cruelty. Injustice. To top it off, we found out about a mudslide in Guatemala City that killed dozens of the people, the Treasures, as they worked in the garbage dump. My heart hurts today. A lot. And even with all these huge sufferings others face, I stare at my own battles, insecurities, sin in my own heart. I grapple with feeling like I do not have time to myself to replenish. I compare what I do to what others do. I let fear grip my heart. And Daddy and I need Jesus to heal, to restore our marriage from things lost, given over to our flesh.
I stare at invaluable gifts every day: you and Brennan. And yet, much of the time I feel like I’m complaining when Daddy gets home, sighing a huge relief as he walks in the door, ready to be anywhere but here and in a mommy role. You and Brennan are my delight and joy! I wouldn’t trade you all or being your mommy for anything. Yet why the huge battle within? The battle rages around and in me. It surrounds and feels all-consuming.
I don’t want to be a downer on this particularly wonderful day we stand before God, our family, and friends to declare our commitment to raise you in the complete and utter dependence of God to show you His Truth, His beauty that you would walk in close, intimate fellowship and obedience to Him as Your Savior and First Love. But the question I asked God while doing the dishes last night often arises as I’m reminded of my own battles inside: “How in the world do we teach our kids to walk through the blaze? How do we help them remember that You are good? You are Love? You are Hope? And You are our Strength, the only One who can bring us through it all and give us joy in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life?”
And enter my prayer for you my precious daughter. I pray with everything in me that you would be clothed with strength, with dignity, and that you could laugh at the days to come (Proverbs 31:25).
Strength to stand for Him and to lay down your life for Him.
I love this whole passage, baby girl. As you’re clothed with dignity, or honor, you ascribe high value to the One who gives you value. Sadly, so much of life and others will want to strip you of your value and make you doubt your worth. I pray you always come back to the truth of Whose you are and how He made you: fearfully and wonderfully, and that as waves of doubt come crashing down about your worth and your security, that you would run into the arms of the One who can both cease the turmoil and give unquestionable assurance.
You will have trouble, heartache and pain. But praise Him that in Him is also the fullness of joy and the astounding ability to laugh at, to celebrate the days to come. For although there will be hardship in your days, only a God who Himself endured suffering can somehow, amazingly, turn it around for good, for beauty, giving you hope, purpose, and the gracious ability to not be afraid, but to smile at the future.
He is crazy about you, Kensie Jane. And I am wild about you, too. I pray that from head to toe, you’d be clothed with the strength needed to follow, assurance of your God-given honor, and a spirit to rejoice in the days ahead.
I love you so deeply and always,