Thirteen years ago I lost control of my life. The plans I had shifted to the back burner and the way I viewed the world and my purpose in it took a new form. I became overprotective and overemotional, overwhelmed and over myself as I realized that every decision I made from that point on would affect this little person in my arms, this little girl that God had given to me.
She was a feisty little thing from the get-go. She was itty-bitty, under six pounds by the time we brought her home, with a big, bald head and big, bright eyes. She was fiercely independent and curious from the start, always pushing up and looking around to see what was happening, never interested in naps or cuddles. She didn’t like to be confined, always wanted freedom to explore the world around her.
I don’t remember a time in which she didn’t talk- it seems she has been asking questions since she left my womb. We used to laugh as she would ask, “But why?” with every answer we gave her… it was cute when she was two, but has become less cute in the last several years! But it just is who she is- always seeking answers and explanations, needing to know the who, what, when, where, why, and how of everything. She likes plans, likes to know what’s coming next, likes to know what to expect. She desires justice, sees things in black and white, and believes in doing things on purpose with good reason.
And to this mom who has nothing figured out, who messes up daily, who is flying by the seat of her pants more often than not… this daughter of mine is a challenge! We push each other out of our comfort zones and push each other’s buttons. There are battles of will and control, battles over right and wrong, and, some days, just battles because we can battle. We are polar opposites in so many ways, yet we share the commonality of strong will and bullheadedness.
But at the end of the day, she is mine. My oldest daughter, my firstborn, my sunshine, the one God gave to me to raise and instruct and learn from. So to my Raegan, here is what I have to say to you on your 13th birthday…
You are a cherished gift from above. You have been uniquely created and formed in the image of God by the Master Creator, and as much as I love you, He loves you all the more. Your strong mind and insistence are gifts from Him that can be used to lead others on paths of righteousness. Your quick wit and quirkiness bring smiles and laughter to our days, and my heart swells with joy when I see your desire to help and serve others. You have always embraced who God made you to be, so continue to live unashamed.
I am a messy, flawed mama, but my prayer is that my imperfections drive you to seek out a holy and perfect God, for He alone can fill all of our empty places and make us complete. You are a strong and intelligent young woman, and I pray that you see those traits as gifts from God to be used for His glory. Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, and be wise in the ways of His Word. He has equipped you with all you need to be a world changer… after all, you’ve already changed my world.
I love you to the moon, my sunshine….