Letters to Nora :: When You Grow Up…

 

Since you’re two weeks old, I doubt you’ll be reading this any time soon. Maybe you will read this some day when you are older… I hope so.

These last two weeks have been filled with joy, tears, laughter, worries, and every emotion in between. Your mom and I have been praying for you (a lot). And as I am sitting here watching you sleep, I’ve been thinking about what you’ll be like when you grow up (not that I want you to grow up any time soon). There are a ton of different things I could say or hope for – and a lot of them are probably pretty superficial. There are a few that are a pretty big deal, though…

I hope you grow up to be like your mom.

Your mom is the most compassionate, consistent, even-tempered person I know. Even when she was in labor with you, she was putting others first. “Are you doing okay?” or “Do you need anything?” or “Do you need something to drink/eat?” were all questions she was asking others in the room while she was in labor. Over the years she has shown me what it means to genuinely weep with others when they weep and celebrate with others when they celebrate. There is no faking going on with her.

I hope you grow up to know and love Jesus.

My faith or your mom’s faith or your church family’s faith won’t sustain your faith. Having a faith of your own is what will. I work with enough middle and high school students to know that. I’ve seen them try to get by on the faith of others, and I’ve seen them fail. You better believe your mom and I will do everything we can to make sure you are heading in the right direction, but we aren’t the ones who make the choice for you to follow Jesus. That one is on you.

I hope you grow up to be a Kingdom Worker.

As people who follow Jesus, we are in this weird spot. We are citizens of an earthly country, but we also are citizens of God’s Kingdom. It is a weird concept, I know. Don’t worry, we’ll talk about it more as you grow up. What I want you to know, though, is that I hope you don’t settle for a faith that is second best. Being a Kingdom Worker means putting the Kingdom of God first in your life and living by Kingdom principles. That’s what Jesus was talking about when he prayed “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Living that way changes everything.

Love always,
Dad