I did not think I would see you. You were given to me by the grace of God, given to me because my work on earth is not done yet. Dear 18, you are the age that I thought would never be mine, and yet here I am on the threshold of 19. How great is my God!
Dear 18, you came with the little arms of baby girls reaching for me. They were relying on me to help them, to love them, and to hold them. And, I did…but not always with the love that I should have had for them. Oh, but that young love grew for them. It grew so fast, so deep that it changed me. It changed the way I viewed life. It changed the way that I looked at others. It deepened my respect for mothers. It pulled me in places that only children can take a person. It was innocence and desperate need shown in slobbery kisses and countless hugs. It was twirling with the one year old while making silly little noises. It was holding that little boy and singing to him until he calms down. It was watching her learn to crawl, but oh how frustrating that could be! It was watching that baby girl walk into my arms for the first time.
Dear 18, you saw me struggle with pain. The pressing weight, the constant ache. There was a battle to not succumb to discouragement. There was a desire to stretch myself, but still confusion because I didn’t always know how to do that. You brought me a different kind of pain. The therapy that broke down not only my body, but my spirit as well. You reminded me of the knowledge that God is with me! That He is love! He is comfort and He is my joy. I rested in this truth, but sometimes I still sank low.
But then, God knew my weakness, my need. He places within my life friends that come alongside me. God gave me a best friend in this year. Someone who came beside me to remind me of God’s love. Someone who helps me keep the right perspective. Someone who is my mirror and without saying anything shows me the ways that I need to change, to grow. How thankful I am for him! For this person that God has placed within my life. Someone I can laugh with and talk to. Someone who cares for me despite the miles and miles of work I still have to run past.
Dear 18, you found the four corners in my heart that needed tending. Four young children live there. You found the middle of my heart that needed care. My best friend lives there. And, you showed me that the Hands that have been holding my heart have never let me go. You reminded me that my God is faithful.
Dear 18, you let me see imperfection. I am imperfection after all.
Dear 18, you showed me how to live better, as it was not always easy to live in you.
Dear 18, can’t you see it? You are my gift from God. The year I didn’t deserve and yet, here you are, but only for a moment. I was able to live all of you! Dear 18, you are my gift from God. He let me live all of you. I was able to breathe every minute, every hour, and every day for a whole year. That is a gift. Truly.
Thank you God for Dear 18. Help me live 19 for You, because it just might be my last.