My little girl just turned ten and I see her teenage years come barreling around the bend like a runaway freight train: those growing pain, testing her boundaries, rebellious years.
During my time as a youth group leader, I often encountered teenage kids who were afraid to go home because they thought that they had done something so unforgivable their parents would not take them back and they would rather stay away from home than to face that painful rejection. Not knowing how desperately their parents wanted them back despite anything they may have done, they stayed away, digging themselves into a deeper hole.
So, I wrote the following birthday letter to my little girl in advance of her teenage years.
Birthday Letter to My Little Girl
Soon, you will reach the years of your teen
When you'll test the waters in between
What is right and what is wrong.
Both the winds from the east and the west
Will fill your sail and heart with unrest
Like the call of the sirens' song.
When that that time comes, I will trust in you
To discern the markers in your field of view
And know where to point your bow.
If you take a wrong turn on a dare
And a squall catches you unaware,
Remember what I tell you now.
Despite anything you do or say,
Egregious offense along the way,
There'll never be a time when it's too late.
Come home, no trouble can be outrun.
Like the father of the prodigal son,
For you, I shall daily wait at the gate.
Always, I will be your harbor of grace.