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I hope you know how incredible you are.
That if you have survived this, survived this year, that you can do anything. Even though you were so young, you’ve endured one of the hardest things any person would have to go through. And you ROCKED IT. You aren’t perfect and we all struggle, but you are tough. You are so strong. And we are this awesome team now, an unassailable foursome, that cannot be shaken. You will persevere through whatever life hands you. You will find a way. You have, and you will.
You know hard, you know sad, and you know pain.
But you also know our God is big and how big He provides. And I will forever talk about how amazing you are and how much I appreciate who you are in light of something so devastating. The hard times won’t break you. They will make you better in so many ways. Life is tough, but so are you. Life will never be the same, but you have learned to take your hurt and use it to help others. You are stronger, dauntless, more capable, more passionate, and more loving.
I will forever tell you how people were SO good to us when we were hurting and needed time to figure life out, and how we will always give back generously to others because of how we were treated. We have experienced true abundant compassion and empathy and will bless others with the same. I will tell them that even though your heart hurts so badly, how you can still raise your hands and worship our big and mighty God because He is WORTHY.
I will always thank you for giving me grace, because I am not perfect and this was (and still is) difficult to navigate. And I am so thankful that God gave you to me because you are the biggest gift that your daddy could have given me.
I will remind you that life will not go the way you planned. So stop planning. Live your life every day with purpose and intention, and allow God to lead and direct you. And when things change, make the best of it! You are not the captain of the ship, but it is your ship and you need to put the work in. Be sensitive to His leading. Listen. Pray.
Get. in. your. Bible.
I will always tell you to embrace life fully. To not avoid hard conversations, to stick up for the ones who can’t speak for themselves, and to help the hurting. You should always stand up for what is right, even if it means a more difficult path. Doing the right thing is always worth it.
I will remind you that life is meant to be lived and lived passionately, because we know first hand how short life can be. Not all days will be good days, but you can use everything you have experienced to make yourself better. I will remind you to keep your eyes up always and make it a habit to focus on all the good in your life. You can control your mind, and you can control how you react. Life won’t just happen to you, you make life happen. Don’t wait for something, GET IT. You are not a victim, you are a warrior.
I will tell you how powerful you are. How your voice will influence those around you, and you have the power to choose if it will add value to the world or bring it down. I will tell you that no one has the ability to tell you your worth besides yourself, because God tells us that you are so wonderfully made. You are known, and you are loved. And you need to believe that with all of your heart. No person can fix you, heal you, or complete you. Only God can do that.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, or that you should be anything but yourself. Because there is only one of you, and you have a purpose and reason for living.
No matter how hard life is, it will go on.
It will get easier. And maybe harder too, but you can get up and take the next step. You can do more than you think. And you are capable. Make the best of every situation. Allow yourself to process and reflect, but don’t let yourself be brought down. Surround yourself with people that will encourage and inspire you. Make good choices, ones that your future self will thank you for. Don’t be afraid of failure, because that isn’t a thing. There are only opportunities for success or opportunities to learn from.
I hope you know just how proud I am of you. I would never have chosen this path for you, a path that is so hard and so complicated for someone your age. But I know that this will grow you and allow you to become someone who has so much courage and so much empathy. You, my darling, are destined for greatness. God has some big plans for you. I hope you always see the incredible person I see, a person with such unbelievable potential that you have no choice but to influence others with every step you take. You will change the world. I hope you see it too.
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Photos by Rachel White Photography
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