Happy 18th Birthday!
I’m not quite sure how today happened. I can literally close my eyes and I’m in the hospital the day you were born. That day was pretty amazing. Your mom was a rock star! Your grandparents, aunts and uncles and a ton of people who loved you from your church. And then the moment happened…
You changed my life.
The thing I remember most, is standing outside the room where they took you after you were born and I remember watching your every move! I stood for more than an house and I prayed.
I begged God to bless you. I thanked God for you. I asked Him to surround you. I asked God to use you. I asked Him to help me be the dad you deserved. I asked God to keep us close. I asked God to bless your relationship with your mom. I asked God to consider using you as someone who would change the world. I asked God to give you a love for the Church and to love people who were left out and excluded.
He’s answered my prayers.
You are a phenomenal young woman. The absolute best. I can’t even describe how amazing I think you are. Wherever you go, you always bring life. I think that’s one of your greatest gifts. It doesn’t matter how dark the room, You brighten it up immediately. It doesn’t matter the circumstances of the people hurting, you always find a way to be there for them.
Your 18. It’s not like you’re moving to the other side of the planet, but this has been a hard birthday for your dad. Why? Because I want so much of the time back. I want to walk up to the door and you run into my arms and say…’I love you all myself’. I want to hear you play the violin again. I want to watch you play soccer again. I want to watch mom read to you. I know this is impossible and I’m excited for what’s ahead of you. I just have loved every second of being your dad.
If there’s anything I hope you learned from me, I hope it’s these things…
- To Love your Jesus. To make Him your priority. To talk to talk to Him. To walk with Him. To read His words. To turn to Him.
- To Love your Husband. You mom has been a great example of having an amazing love for her husband. Follow her lead. I have prayed for your future spouse from your first day. Please Rebekah, fall in love and give your heart to a man that loves Jesus more than you do. It’s worth the wait.
- To Love your Family. Love them with everything you have. Love them with patience, and kindness and goodness. Love your mom and your siblings. Love your grandparents and extended family.
- To Love your Church. Please don’t just be a church attender. Love your Church. Be a leader. Give financially to God through your Church. Serve kids.
- To Love the excluded. I’ve always asked you to welcome the new people and kids at Church. Please continue that pattern. Be the first to learn their name and hear their story. Be the first to welcome them when you see them again. At Church, work and school.
- To Love yourself. You are made in the image of God. You are His child. You are beautiful. You are gifted. You are smart (way smarter than your dad). You are a leader. Love yourself.
- To Use your gifts of Leadership. Bekah, you were created to LEAD! God’s blessed you with an amazing gift. People follow you. Use it for His Kingdom.
- To Dream Big and Take HUGE steps of Faith. Yes, your dad is kind of crazy. But, I guarantee the life that Trusts Jesus, dreams big and takes huge steps of faith for Him is so much better than being afraid to take the leap.
Ok, one last thing. I will always support you. I will always be here for you. I am your biggest fan. I am always going to challenge you and encourage you.
I know that God has an amazing plan for you. Thank you for being an amazing daughter. I have loved every second of being your dad. I have loved traveling together. I have loved talking life, and school and church.
I love you.