The enemy tried to take your life before you ever saw the light of day, but God had other plans. We endured three months of bedrest, and then there you were! Where your older brother had been happy-go-lucky, you were feisty and driven. You fought to be born, and you were a force to be reckoned with. You came to know Jesus at age four and got baptized at age six. We never doubted your faith, though you were young, because your little life bore fruit from the start. After every fit of temper - and there were plenty of them - you would come and ask forgiveness, and you were always concerned about what Jesus thought.
As a little girl you loved dolls, and as a young teen you loved to clean house and bake during the holidays. You often told me your heart's desire was to grow up and marry and have a family of your own. We were not surprised that you decided to pursue a career in nursing, a field designed to nurture, when you went to college. Little did we realize how your bent toward academic excellence would well serve you in this endeavor, though I do remember how I used to grieve over how hard you were on yourself, to the point of erasing holes in your handwriting tablet because the letters were not perfect, no matter how much I explained it was just practice.
When your oldest brother left home, you were ten years old. You and little sister (then seven) grew extra close to your brother still at home, then twelve. The bond between you three was thick. To cope with your sense of loss, you often slept in one another's bedrooms, on pallets on the floor.
It stands to reason then, that you also took it very hard when your next brother went to Teen Challenge. It had to have felt a bit like two down, two to go. At least that's how Dad and I sometimes felt. But in God's great mercy, the Teen Challenge years served not only to restore your brother to us all, but to also reunite our whole family. Suddenly it was extra clear the blessing we had in each other. And I'll ever treasure your peaceful countenance in turbulent times - you were my confidante and my rock. You truly personified your favorite Bible verse (1 Peter 3:3-5).
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves. . .
You were a safe harbor in my storm.
Then came THE blind date, on the eve of your brother's graduation from Teen Challenge. I knew somehow in my heart, from the very beginning, that he was Mr. Right. Your dad said it too. It could be that we were both partial to "blind dates" because that's how we met, but I like better to think that the whole setup was just God's special gift to us all, especially since his mom and I arranged your first date.
You and I have always been very close, and I'll readily admit - because you already know it anyhow - that your year of 'courtship' was bittersweet. It was hard to think of letting my little girl go. But of all four of you kids, I knew in my heart that you would marry young, because it was just part of who you were becoming in Christ all those years. And now we're closing in on your first anniversary (and your twenty-first birthday), and I know that you'll never truly be gone from me, because our hearts are connected always. If you're happy, I'm happy too. You are a beautiful and lovely young woman, a precious wife, and I know you are going to be an awesome mommy. You will always be a treasured daughter and an incredible blessing to Dad and me.
And now you've brought us another son, in your sweet husband. We love you both dearly. You have a future filled with promise, and it will be exciting to see how God is going to use your skills as a nurse and his as a doctor for His good and His glory.
All my love always,