I prayed to be able to take good care of you. You were so precious and fragile. You depended on me for everything. I didn’t want to fail on any level. Our first pediatrician fired us. It wasn’t you. It was definitely me. I wouldn’t stop calling him for advice. I didn’t want to make a mistake that might harm you. I remember being so excited for your birth and then, afterwards, wishing I could put you back in the safe confines of the womb (please don’t be grossed out by that). You were an exquisite gift from God and I was a struggling mother who felt so unworthy of something so beautiful. I thought often about Mary as she cared for baby Jesus. Can you imagine the simultaneous elation and pressure? Every diaper rash would feel like an affront to God Himself! I couldn’t even keep a house plant alive before you were born. I didn’t understand how God could trust me with something as important as raising a child. So, I kept on praying.
I prayed as you started to grow. You were so obviously intelligent and full of life. I started to worry less about your daily portions of vegetables and Baby Mozart (other millennial moms will get that). I started focusing more on your heart. I didn’t want it to be like mine. I wanted you to KNOW- in the very core of your being- that you are precious, important, and so very worthy. I wasn’t sure at what age my heart lost the truth that God gave me before He sent me into the world. But I desperately wanted a different course for you. I prayed that you would never feel unloved, never feel unwanted, and never feel as lost as I was before you came into my life.
It was those prayers for you- born out of pure love and longing- that brought me into the arms of the God that created you… and created me. You don’t remember much about me before I surrendered our lives into His hands. I’m so grateful for that. I’ll just tell you that it was harder than I wanted it to be to choose the things for myself that I wanted for you. I couldn’t do it without God. By giving me a daughter, He demonstrated His love and desire for all of His daughters. He helped me to understand that the things I wanted for you- that I prayed from the depths of my soul- were the things He wanted for me and for all of His girls. Now, He walks beside us as we continue this journey as mother and daughter, and as His daughters. And I continue to pray for you every day. Multiple times a day. Yes, I’m stalking you through prayer. It will be okay.
Like God, I want the best for you. I want things for you that you don’t even know to want for yourself. He and I see you as royalty. You are a princess. Sure, you can’t really go off to high school next year wearing a gown and tiara (the pictures would be awesome, though). But, in your heart, you can KNOW that’s who you are. I pray for you to walk onto that campus every day and make choices befitting your status in the kingdom. I’m not talking about drinking tea with your pinky held high. I’m talking about treating yourself and others as if you’re an appointed representative of the Most High King. Because you are.
I pray that your words reflect your beautiful heart. That your actions reflect the prayers of my heart. And that your choices align with our Father’s heart.
When you are faced with the things that are contrary to your royal status- like drugs or alcohol or gossip or cheating or sexual situations- I pray that every prayer I have or will speak on your behalf will come rushing forth like a tsunami, washing away the lies and doubts and fears. I pray that your heart- modeled after the Father’s heart- will guide you toward the choice to be set apart and extraordinary. You deserve purity of mind, body and spirit. It isn’t prudish or foolish or even religious. It’s special and it’s God’s design.
I pray that you will not be moved or shaken by the world’s attempts to tear you down. May you always understand that feelings of loneliness, awkwardness and differentness are just that… feelings… and do not comprise your identity. Your identity is the one assigned by God and it comes with unconditional and eternal belonging and love. Let me repeat that- in case your mind started wandering there- YOUR IDENTITY COMES WITH UNCONDITIONAL AND ETERNAL BELONGING AND LOVE. If you aren’t feeling that, I pray you’ll pray for that to settle into your heart.
Please remember that feelings are not always representative of the truth. I pray that God will give you the discernment to know the difference. I pray that you won’t make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions. Instead, set your heart’s compass on a God that never changes. If you do make mistakes- and you will- I pray you'll understand the fullness of God's mercy and grace. His forgiveness is a part of who we are. You can never outrun His love for you and you most definitely can never outrun mine.
Most of all, I pray that you KNOW that this is just a chapter in the overall story of your life and your story- God’s love story for you- was written by Him with a happily ever after at the end. This- this very moment- may be ecstatic or excruciating. But, it is only a moment. It is a grain of sand on a beach compared to the eternity we will spend with our Father in Heaven. And however this moment is for you, KNOW that I am praying for you and loving you just as I have since before you were born.
One day, God willing, you will have a daughter of your own and all of these words will make sense to you. You will come to understand that my prayers are God’s prayers for all of His daughters. And your prayers will start to sound like mine. Yes, you’ll be a prayer stalker, too.
As you embark on the blessed adventure of the RefresHER Girls conference this weekend, there are women throughout Las Vegas praying for you. They are mothers and daughters and grandmothers and sisters and friends. They are God’s princesses- just like you- and they carry His heart for your journey. May this be the moment you fully understand how God sees you and let His truth be the road map for the rest your life. It would be an answer to countless prayers.
I love you. I’m praying for you.
aka Briana Mackey