An Open Letter To My Goddaughter
Sweet Isla Grace. Welcome.
Welcome to this lifetime. To this miraculous place. It is miraculous not because it is perfect, or constantly joy-filled. It is miraculous not because we’ve finally achieved Heaven down here or even because we have managed to find a way to act with compassion and love 51% of the time. And its not miraculous because love always wins.
No, the world you have joined is none of those things. Not yet.
But it is miraculous because, despite all those things – and maybe even quite because of them – it is a place where you will encounter God so deeply, so truly, that at times you may believe you have never left His side to come join us here.
The unfortunate side of that is the raw truth that down here we typically find Him in the places we would rather not find ourselves. Our human hearts are most open to Him in the darkest of nights, and while there is beauty in that, I do wish that those dark spaces were ones you would never need to know.
But I have a few years on you in this lifetime, so I have some wisdom on the matter. And as far as I can tell, at least a handful of those times will be unavoidable, sweet girl.
So knowing those times are coming, I would like to remind you of a few things on your first night here among us mortals.
You are beautiful. This has nothing to do with your hair color or thigh size. It has nothing to do with the career path you eventually choose or whether you ever marry. It has nothing to do with money, religious creed, or preferred hobby. You were made by God to be the human you are and that alone is beautiful. You will not always believe you are beautiful, but let me assure you – you are.
You are powerful. Not only must you remember this, but you must also remember, my dear, that the more important piece to this puzzle is how you wield that power. You will be fed all kinds of messages about the way a woman can and should use her particular brand of power. You will feel particular pressure to keep up with the boys on sports fields, in the office, at bars. Power is a tricky commodity, and it will be up to you to remember this one thing – graciousness, kindness, compassion, and generosity are all some of the greatest qualities of those who are truly powerful. Do all you can to ensure you never lose these precious pieces of you in favor of power alone.
Bad things will happen. Ugly things. Sad things. Painful things. And while I wish that I could protect you from some of the things you will see, hear, feel, and experience, I can’t do that. But remember, you are strong enough to withstand even the harshest storms, smart enough to navigate the choppiest of waters, hopeful enough to remain focused on the light, no matter how small it may seem. And while I cannot protect you from the harsh truths of this world, when you feel as if the bottom has fallen out I can be a soft place for you to land.
It is my job as your Godmother to remind you that God loves you. To do what I can to guide you in building your relationship with Him. But that’s just the thing, Isla – its your relationship with Him, not mine. We each have our own road to walk with God. He will present Himself to you in ways I may not understand, and you may find your connection to Him in ways that would never work for me. That is okay. That is good. That is yours.
And even if you stray from Him at one point or another, the road He has paved for you will always lead you back home. No matter how long or how far you may wander. So know that while I will never shove you into His arms, I will always be the compass ready to point you back toward home when you might find you are a little bit lost.
Finally, dear Isla, you are loved. You are loved by so many here on earth. So many. You have been anxiously anticipated and our tribe is excited to call you our own.
But we are not the only ones who love you.
So does He.
You will not always believe this, but it is true.
You will wonder why He has allowed certain trials. You will wonder why your prayers go unanswered. You will wonder why things come so easy for some, while you need to scratch and claw your way. You will wonder why your road never seems straight.
You will also wonder how He could love you in light of your flaws. Your missteps and mistakes. You will wonder how He can love you when you are so imperfect, so judgmental, so stubborn. You will wonder at what point He will give up on you.
But that is the thing, my dear.
He will never give up. And His love for you will never fail.
And I will always be here to remind you of this when you forget.
Welcome to the world, Isla Grace. Welcome.