My oldest daughter just turned 13. Wow, we have a teenager in the house! Where has the time gone?
She is getting ready to enter a time of hormonal turmoil, emotional ups and downs, and the realization that she is leaving the land of babies and joining the ranks of adults. She will have to learn to navigate through many changes and choices that will impact the rest of her life. For many teenagers this is a time of confusion and angst, but it can also be a time of excitement, joy, and amazing personal growth.
So, my sweet Katherine, here are a few things that I want you know.
You have a purpose
Your teenage years will involve searching. Questions like, Who am I? Where do I belong? What should I be doing? and many more will increasingly matter to you. While these are good and important questions I want you to start with this truth: you have been created by God and for God. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism states, your chief end in life is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” So as a child of God you are, first and foremost, his beloved daughter. You are royalty in his kingdom and purchased with the priceless blood of Jesus your Saviour. No matter what you choose to do--hanging out with your friends, studying for school, becoming a vet, whatever you do, remember that your purpose is to glorify God. This means that in all you do his honor is your aim.
You have security
Everything in this word is shaky. Things like money, friendship, security, safety, beauty … are all fleeting. You can have them one day and they can be gone the next. But not Jesus. He is your firm foundation, the rock upon which your faith must be built so that when your world is shaken (and it will be) you can look to the one who stands firm and makes sense out of all the things you can’t make sense of.
You Are Not Alone
There will be times when you will find yourself alone and maybe even a little lonely. Sometimes you will be very lonely. Everyone experiences this from time to time, but you must remember that God is with you always. You do not have to search for Him, you do not have to wait for him to show up. He is with you and near you at all times. You can pour out your heart to him and he will listen intently to every word. He understands when no one else does, he forgives when you repent and he comforts you when you go to him in your sadness.
You are loved
There may come a time when you will choose poorly. Perhaps you will follow friends when you shouldn’t. You may get sidetracked by the world or wrecked by your own sinfulness. No matter what, always know that Christ’s love for you remains the same, and it is his love that has secured your salvation.
And sweetie, we love you. And we will love you no matter what. I have much more to say to you; not to just tell you what to do, but to share what I have learned and pass it on to you. I praise God for you, and want to help you know him.
My prayer is that you will know him even better than I do.