subject line: dear parents of sweet girls

 

Clinton, Mississippi

This semester has been a semester of learning. One of humility. One of being broken by all the brokenness in the young women around me.

I am in my junior year of college. This semester alongside one of my closest friends, one who knows me inside and out, I was able to lead and pour into forty-eight girls. I thought so arrogantly that I had so much to teach them. That I could pour so much wisdom into them. That my freshman year of college would not be in vain, that with my struggles came wisdom for healing.

But I realized a few things. These girls didn’t need soapbox lectures. They didn’t need someone telling them the steps to make. You see, for so long, these kids had parents telling them exactly where to place one foot in front of the other. Parents who were and still are over concerned with a checklist for their daughter to live up to. But what these parents don’t see is that while their daughters were attaining all of these goals, the entire time their girls were trying to earn their parents’ love. They were trying to prove their worthiness to be a daughter.

The brokenness that these young women are being engulfed in is not knowing that they are daughters who are loved by God, their creator. That they could never earn His love, but that Jesus dying on the cross for their sins paid for the grace and love. They need to see that their value does not come from their grades, the checklist of their parents, their major, their friend groups.

No. Their worth should be in Christ.

Our girls are broken, they are disheartened. They feel engulfed by anxiety and depression. And I think that is from the fear and worry of not living up to the expectations of being a worthy daughter. But parents, your daughters are worthy. They are worthy because Christ named them that. So when you talk to your little girl on the phone, remember that she is growing. That college is hard. That she is experiencing new things as college becomes the new “normal”. Know that she has a community surrounding her and encouraging her.

And when you wonder what you can do, remember this: you should be her biggest cheerleader and encourager. You have raised her for eighteen years or so, you’ve done your job, so now encourage her and push her to be bigger than she ever imagined. Make sure to tell her you are proud of her and that she is doing good. But know that her value does not come from your encouragement either. Encourage her beyond yourself, encourage her to seek her value above and not on this earth. Encourage her to be bold. To soar. To seek her purpose. But remind her that her purpose is to Glorify the Lord.

Sincerely,
a junior in college that heard some of these things, sees lots of these things, and wishes for more of these things.