A Letter To My Niece
My Sweet Girl,
I can’t believe how much you have grown. I remember when you first graced us with your gentle spirit 7 years ago. What a blessing you are! Even though you are only 7, I have to remind myself to breathe sometimes when I hear some of the wise words that come out of your mouth. For example, you put me in my place a few months ago. You have two aunts that love you so much but I’m always joking with you that I am your favorite. In your sweet little voice and innocent eyes, you told me you don’t have favorites and you love us both the same. It was such a reminder of God’s grace.
I’ve been wanting to write you a letter for a long time now. You have gone through so much for only being 7 and you are a warrior, I never want you to forget that. You have a heart that we could all use more of in this world.
There are a few things I want to share with you. I wouldn’t be a very good aunt if I didn’t encourage you in a broken world. I want to start with the most important thing you need to know: you are a child of a King. There will never be anything in this world that can fill what He can in your heart. His love for you is bigger than the ocean and He is a good good Father. When we get together for Thanksgiving, you like to play the “thankful game.” We all take turns sharing what we are thankful for. You love this game and you ask to play it often, another reason this world needs more of you. Last Thanksgiving, you said you are thankful that Jesus died on the cross for you. You said that you love Him. I pray that you always seek Him and continue to let Him be at the center of your heart.
I want you to know that you are beautiful. And I’m not talking about when your grandpa spoils you with Lilly Pulitzer and you are the best dressed 7 year old- yes, you are the cutest 7 year old out there- but I’m talking about your heart. Never let anyone tell you what you have to look like to be beautiful, because you already are. Beauty is not defined by what you look like on the outside, what clothes you wear, or how much you weigh. Beauty shines from within and you are the most beautiful little girl.
I want you to know that adults don’t always have it together. I see your face when you see me and your aunts fighting or when you hear mommy and daddy fight. Just because we are “adults” doesn’t mean we have all of the right answers. In fact, I think we can learn more from you. In those moments, I want you to know how sorry I am. I am sorry for explosions that you see when adults become unglued. It is our job to love you and guide you in this life and sometimes we don’t always have it together. But I promise I will teach you about the meaning of grace and humility and ask for your forgiveness when I fail you.
I want you to know that people are not always nice. There will be times you feel left out, picked on, and pushed aside. I see it happening already and it breaks my heart. But you know how I told you that you are a child of a King? Because of that, you are never alone. And in those moments when you’re feeling sad and confused about why you are the only one not invited to the sleepover, take a deep breath and be nice to those people anyway. I know it’s hard to be nice to people that are mean to you but I also know that you are a brave and strong little girl and you can show the world how to love thy neighbor.
I want you to know that I want you to do what you love in life. Your aunt Kaitlin and I keep talking to you about playing sports when you are older, but you say you want to be a cheerleader. God gives us all different gifts and calls us to use those gifts to glorify Him. If cheerleading is that gift and brings you joy, then your aunts will be your biggest fans. I can’t wait to see you shine.
I want you to know that one day you will meet a boy that you like. And you will probably get your heart broken once or twice. Always remember that you are a princess and the right boy will honor you, respect you, cherish you and love you as Christ loves His church. And of course, whoever this boy is will need to get my approval, so I will be there to help guide you and protect you and pick up the pieces if your heart bursts.
The most important thing that I want you to know is that I will always be here for you. You are a Godsend to our family. You have taught us all what unconditional love is. You have taught us how to be patient, how to listen, and how to truly live in the moment. You have a servant’s heart and I am so proud of the sweet girl you are. No matter what happens in this crazy life, I will love you through it all. There is nothing you could ever do to make me love you less. More importantly, there is nothing you could ever do to make Jesus love you less. I need you to know that you can always call me and you always have a home with me. You are only 7, there is so much life ahead of you and so many lessons to be learned. I promise to be by your side through all of it. I love you to the moon and back, and then some.
With all of my heart,