(This post is for any age, so don’t let my daughter turning the young age of 12 keep you from reading it for yourself or for another. We ALL struggle with the subject of identity! Read on my friends!)
This has been a sweet week in our home! My daughter turned 12….where has the time gone?
I have kept a gift for her for several years and waited just for the right moment or birthday to give it to her. This one seemed to be it. Let me explain why….
I got to thinking about what it means to turn 12 and my own awkward years way back when. My daughter is sooooo much more confident than I was at that age, so much more daring and carefree. That’s one of the many things I love about her! But still, though she and I vary at this strange age of 12, there are similarities too.
Twelve is a crossroads, a place of looking forward and still glancing back over the shoulder from time to time. Twelve is no longer little girl, nor is it teenager. One minute you find yourself reaching for a stuffed animal or a box of legos and the next you are one the phone with a friend discussing the cute boy at school or church. It’s a tough place.
But it’s a place that I wanted to equip my daughter to handle well, despite the hormones, questions, and uncertainties. So I gave her a gift today, actually two gifts. If you keep reading, I hope you will receive your own gift from this post via the internet. One that you can keep for yourself and then pass on to another deserving lady!
But first I need to go back to our tea time from a week ago…..
Me: “Jacie, tell me who you are.”
Daughter: “Well….I am a frog-lover. I love to climb trees and help Dad with the cows. I am so happy that I am in this family. Oh, I should have said this first…I love God!”
Me: “Good answers! But let me ask the question this way. You told me about you. But who are you?”
Daughter: “Ummmm….is this a trick question? I am a girl. I am twelve. I have brown hair and blue eyes…”
Me: “You’re getting closer. If we take away the tree-climbing, frogs, brown-hair-blue-eyes, what’s left? Who are you? What is your identity?”
Daughter: “You mean like when they ask you at the grocery store, ‘Can I see your ID?'”
Me: “Sort of. What makes up you? You are more than what you do. You are you because of who God made you to be. Not based on what you do or how you look. Make sense?”
Daughter: “I think so. So you mean I need to strip all of the outside away and get to the inside?”
she got it!
So back to the gift…..
I gave my precious girl two things, a birthstone ring, an opal. (Aren’t her hands sweet!) And a letter with the meaning behind an opal. I wanted to instill in her WHO she is, now at age 12. But, thank God, no matter what age, we are never to old to discover WHO we are as women!
Here’s a bit of what I wrote to her:
“The opal gemstone signifies PURITY, INNOCENCE, HOPE. It also means the person who was born this month usually has strong qualities like CONFIDENCE, LOYALTY, FAITHFULNESS, HAPPINESS. People born in October usually are lovers of BEAUTY, PEACE, AND HARMONY.
This stone is usually white in color with flecks of brilliant rainbows that shine with the slightest movement. I see your brilliance, like rainbows, shine daily when you do or say the slightest thing! I love that about you! Keep shining, girl!
You are also so beautifully pure in heart, innocent, hopeful, confident, loyal, faithful, and happy MOST of the time. So many people are blessed by you and these qualities, especially me!”
At the 12-year-old-crossroad, I want her to remember WHO she is. I want to declare to her the magnificent qualities and stake them as signposts in her young life to point her to the truth of THE GIRL SHE IS NOW AND THE WOMAN SHE WILL GROW UP TO BE. I know and you know that life won’t be easy for my girl or for any of us breathing in air. All the more reason we need someone reassuring us of the truth and pointing us to the TRUTH, to Jesus Christ.
WOMEN, be brave and honest enough to tell the girl or woman you are sharing a cup of tea with that she is not the messed up relationship, the broken trust, the wounded heart, the difficult job, the crazy schedule, the mound of dirty diapers…
We see ourselves through the lenses of what we do or what has been done to us. But that is not WHO we are!
WOMEN, be brave enough to remind her of the truth of who she is! Be bold enough to remove the distorted, dirty lenses from her face and help her see clearly!
My gift and letter brought a smile to this girl’s face, and to mine!
Talk to her about WHO SHE IS, distinguish from what she does, or what has happened to her and drive the stakes in the ground of the soil of her life of who she truly is!
It only takes one set of eyes to help another see the truth in the chaos of life. Be those eyes!