My dear child,
As you passed by this morning at church I told you I was proud of you, and I am. Being the gracious young lady you are you thanked me and did not inquire as to why.
How old are you now, 20? That means I first noticed you when you were about 14 and saw the beautiful Christian woman you would one day become. I told your daddy he was not going to like watching you grow up nearly as much as I would. He was going to lose his little girl; we were going to get a woman.
(As an aside, knowing the child it is a very good way to judge the dad. In this humble opinion nothing is more important to the child in relating to the Heavenly Father than how they feel about their earthly father. Father's Day being past, though, fatherhood is a subject of another day).
Perhaps it was because you remind me of our daughter Susan that when you were so young I felt led to tell you something which you may have forgotten: Being pretty is not an accomplishment, it's an opportunity. Just so you know, pretty is no greater or less an attribute than smart, or athletic, right or left-handed. These are simply qualities with which one is born.
Probably at 14 you did not think of yourself as pretty, but the Lord always sees what He will do with a willing soul. Being beautiful, and that is what you would one day be, is a life's work requiring time and maturing into womanhood.
It has been said that a man has no sense at all until he is thirty, and nothing to say until he is forty. A girl starts to become a woman considerably sooner than that. It starts when she has a focus beyond pretty, or smart, or athletic. Now the odyssey, now the accomplishments can begin. Now there will be struggles and hardships, losses and disappointments, and joys and successes beyond the imagination of a fourteen year old.
Let me give you a definition of what it means to be a beautiful Christian woman. It is something I learned from a preacher on a long ago Father's Day: "Everything about her demeanor, everything about her decorum, everything about her dress draws attention to the spirit of Jesus in her." If you look around at Christ Community Church you see multiple role models for what it means to be truly beautiful, and you are becoming one of them.
So, my dear daughter in the faith, I am at this moment in your life very proud of you and how far you have come. Not being your daddy I really have enjoyed watching you grow up much more than I enjoyed watching Susan become the beautiful daughter of the Father she is.
In His love,