Today you are thirteen! I know it’s what you would expect me to say, but it seems like only yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time. You were amazing, so tiny and perfect and beautiful and such a gift from God. And today, I can only say that rather than becoming less amazed with each passing day I have been more amazed by you as you have grown. The awe has never worn off, each day has brought more…More amazement in the unfolding gift of who you are, more amazement that God in His graciousness trusted me with the gift of being your mother.
I know that you are concerned about becoming a “teenager” and all that society expects from the years to come. I want to tell you right now that I am looking forward to these years, that I am not looking at the word “teen” in your age with a feeling of dread but with a feeling of excitement and joy. Did you know that the whole concept of “teenager” is relatively new in our society? A hundred years ago, there was no “Teenager” who society expected to rebel and cause problems. There was no concept of the disrespectful youth who’s parents were helpless to help or control. This image is false, the concept has been created and fed by a society that does not want to take responsibility for its parenting mistakes or lack of commitment. A hundred years ago, people in the “teen years” were simply young adults…growing into their responsibility and learning as they went. They were given responsibility, held to high moral standards and were expected to do well with it, and because people expected the best from them they lived up to that. We do people your age so much disservice by expecting the worst. Why should we be surprised when so many teens live up to our negative expectations?
My son, I am expecting the best from you, I am resting easy that you will make good choices and that you will continue to grow into the Godly young man you are already becoming. I enjoy your company, I look forward to spending time with you, and I am so proud of who you are. I love your heart for God and your caring nature, I love how you are unafraid to speak Truth when others are missing the mark. The years to come hold so much! Ups and downs, to be sure. I am not fooling myself into thinking that there will be no struggles, but as always you should know that your parents are 100% committed to getting through those struggles with you and growing stronger in the process. Down the road we will be able to share so many conversations, so many adventures, so many new things…adult to adult as well as son to parent. And through it all I will always, always be your mom. You have no need to feel like you have to grow up fast…take your time, enjoy who you are today, and know that God has plans for you! Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you hope and a future.
What advice would I give you, going into the future? Keep on reading your Bible. Consume the book. Read it daily, reflect on it, write about what you read. Become a man known for loving the Word, study it with all your might, and surround yourself with others who do the same. Turn to the Word first when you feel empty, lost or afraid, because it is the only thing that can truly fill you. Memorize the words so that they flow through your mind and off your tongue, when you do this you will find that the Spirit will bring verses to your mind when you need them most, and you can stand under those words as a shelter in any kind of temptation or storm. Think of God first in all things, let Him be your guide in every choice you make. Have a different mindset than the one the world offers you…keep a Kingdom mindset! You are here on the earth for a short time, but your soul is eternal and your real home is far from here. Build your life around your true home, make your choices based on what will last there and not what is destined for destruction here. Trust in God’s plan for your life, because even when everything seems dark He is weaving the strands of your days together toward a picture that you can’t yet see…but is more beautiful than you can imagine.
I am so proud of you! You bring joy to my heart and I love being your mother. Every day is a blessing and the best is yet to come!
With Much Love,