Hopes for My Daughter On Turning 13

Gina Butz growth, hope, parenting 8 Comments

photo by Morgan Sessions

Ok, you finally made it. 13. I have to confess, it’s felt like you’re a teenager for awhile now. You have your emotional ups and downs, and you’re mature beyond your years. That’s my polite way of saying sometimes, girl, you’re a handful. But, I am quick to remind myself that you are far from the terror I was at 13. I wish that on no one.

But whatever handful you are, it’s what you are supposed to be. This is a tough time, and I’m going to tell you that it’s going to get rockier before it gets better. Being a teenager is turbulent. I remember.

I hope it goes well for you. I hope so much. I hope that you navigate these years with confidence, not in yourself, but in who God has made you to be. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. I know you doubt that sometimes, when you look at the widow’s peak you wish I hadn’t given you, or your drive for perfection that frustrates you. But trust me – it’s ALL good. I hope you never let someone else’s words or looks cause you to doubt that truth.

I hope, as you grow and mature, you never lose your childlikeness. It’s different than being childish. Childlike means you stay open, humble, willing to learn, ok with the fact that you’re not there yet, willing to let others help you in your weak places. Jesus
said the kingdom belongs to those people.

I hope, as you grow, that you are gentle with yourself. You’re going to make mistakes. You won’t know what you’re doing. You will have ups and downs and disappointments and regrets, but it’s all part of the process. This is how we learn, so I hope you can smile at the fumbles and say, “Now I know!” and move on with compassion and grace.

I hope you value yourself in relationships. I hope you continue to choose to spend time with people who build you up, who love you as you are, and with whom you can stand your ground. I hope you always believe that you are worth pursuing. I hope you never think you have to change to make yourself likable or attractive to anyone.

I hope you know how normal all this is. I know some days you’ll feel like you could conquer the world, and other days you’ll be shaking in your boots. Sometimes you’ll think I’m the smartest, best mom ever, and other days you’ll think I’m a idiot. Your
emotions will run wild at times and cause you to think and do things that surprise you. I hope you take it all in stride. (I hope I do too!)

I hope you keep following your dreams. They are good dreams. I hope they become clearer and more tangible, but at the same time, I hope they never take the place of God in your heart. I hope you can hold them open to Him and trust that He will do with them what is best for you.

I hope you cling to Jesus. If there is anything I hope for you, it is this. I hope that as you grow, you see more and more how desperately you need Him, and how He is more than sufficient for everything you need. I hope you love Him with everything you have. I hope you taste and see that He is so very good. I hope this relationship guides you and brings you joy.

I hope in Him for you, kiddo. He has great plans for you. Welcome to 13.

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Promises to My Children

Comments 8

  1. Gina, I got choked up and shed a few tears while reading your beautiful post to Megan. You said it so clearly and eloquently and it was so perfect for your girl! Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. I enjoy both of your kids, but Megan is a special delight to me. I’m grateful I get to teach her and play games with her and thus am really getting to know her and see her real self. She is a treasure. Thank you for sharing her! Carol

  2. Beautiful…made me want to be your 13 year old daughter. She blessed to have a mother who wrote such a letter to her. I couldn’t help but smile with your comment…she hasn’t had a chance to read it. I hate to tell you, but it’ll worse the next few years as far as she having time for you and yours! 🙂

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