Fatherhood is by far, the craziest adventure I've ever attempted. The only way this is going to work, is to ask for lots of help from my Heavenly Father.
LET HER BE BRAVE
My daughter is nuts. She tears the legs off of unsuspecting mannequins. She licks floors. The longest she ever sat still is… still waiting on that one. Her gymnastics teacher believes in creative freedom. At least he used to. Once my daughter realized she didn’t have to participate in the skill of the day, she had a great time running rampant on the Little Gym’s equipment. By sheer force of her own exuberance, she lead her classmates into 2-year-old anarchy. She’s not afraid of risks. I never want to dampen her drive. That’s her magic. I just want to help her channel it. I pray she learns to use her courage in the right times at the right places. I pray that she will be brave enough to be vulnerable in life and love. I pray she will stand up for those who are hurting.
LET HER BE STRONG
The world is a tough place. I can’t be there to protect her from everything, try as I might. I pray that God will fight for her, going to battle on her behalf. I pray for her paths to be made clear. But when they aren’t clear, I pray she will persevere. I hope that she learns that sometimes real strength looks like sacrifice and true might can be meek. I pray she continues to believe in the power of her own voice and that she will use it often. I pray that in a world filled with exploitation and evil, she will never be afraid to say, “no.”
Give her a heart that's hungry for You
I don’t want my daughter to be religious (doing good works to appease a distant deity). I want her to desire and pursue a personal connection with the Creator of the Universe. I can’t force this. I know that all I can do is model an authentic, life-giving love and live every day to introduce her to the Person of God. I love watching this love begin to spark in her little heart. I love when we're eating breakfast and she asks for “more Bible” with her blueberries. I love hearing her thank God for everything her not-quite-shut eyes can glimpse (mommy, mommy’s arm, shirts). I pray for the day when she says “YES” to Jesus. I can’t wait. I want it to be her journey. If she’s going to live it, she has to own it. The most powerful choices we make involve us learning to want the right things. I want her to want God.
Give her great friends
I pray she will see past labels and love people for the real reasons. I hope she will be surrounded by people who do the same for her. I hope she finds people that appreciate her goofy side, her energy, and her knowledge that any time is a good time for dancing. I want her to have people that she can trust. Wise people who will listen to her when she’s older, and she needs to complain about me. I hope that her life is a wonderful adventure, and that the right people are along for the ride. I pray she would be able to experience the thrill of a Gospel-driven, Jesus-loving community.
Root her identity and worth in your love
From day one, my daughter is being raised in a culture with impossible standards of beauty. Let her be like her mom, who realizes that real beauty isn’t skin deep. Help us be parents that affirm the girl that she is, and let us celebrate the things in her life that really matter. I pray my daughter will grow to know herself, growing to appreciate the fact that she was made in the Image of God. I pray that my daughter will find resonance in her redemption as she learns the high ransom that was paid on her behalf. Let her seek things that will last for billions of years.
HELP ME REMEMBER THAT SHE WAS YOURS BEFORE SHE WAS MINE
Being her dad is my greatest joy. Thank you God for letting me gain a deeper understanding of your heart in this relationship. Thanks for giving me such an amazing wife to share this journey. Help us take care of her in a way that honors you. When the time comes, please help us know how to launch her into the world for your glory. I dread the day...but I'm also excited. Thank you for this exquisite privlege. Help me to appreciate every moment of this ride.