These two beautiful people are my grandkids: Kalliahpe Adelaide (Kalli) and Olliver Ryan (Olli).
This letter has been on my mind for many weeks. At times I’ve tried to write, but the timing did not feel right. With the events of the past week in full view, the timing finally feels right.
You are far too young to understand what is going on in the world today. You may see images flash on the television while you play in the living room. You have no way to appreciate the stories behind the pictures. You may hear adults talking about how violent people have become. You are far too young to comprehend the magnitude of the current situation in the country in which you live. You are far too young to understand what words like racism, riot, protest, and injustice means. As far as you’re concerned, those words are no different than cat, duck, snack, or truck.
If you could understand what is on television, you would see people treated unfairly and differently due to their skin color. You would see people elected to protect us and make our nation safe, act selfishly, and prideful at times. You would see people not caring for their neighbors and each other. You would see different rules for different people. You would see the law and those sworn to protect it, like your daddy, ignored, ridiculed, and threatened. You would see a country at war with itself.
I’m thankful your world currently consists of fishing, toys, naps, dogs, cats, baby ducks, innocent laughs and smiles, Trolls, the Furchesters, and milestones such as walking, reading, the next tooth, potty-training, and the like. I’m thankful that through your innocent eyes, you see love modeled by your mommy and daddy, as well as others around you who care about you more than you will ever know. I’m thankful that through your innocent eyes, you see people as equal- regardless of what they look like, what job they have, or where they live. I’m thankful that you see simplicity through your innocent eyes, for the days will come that bring complications. I’m thankful that you see fun through your innocent eyes, for the days will come that bring difficulty and pain. I’m thankful that you see honesty through your innocent eyes, for the days will come that brings betrayal and deceit.
Babies, I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry that the world you’re growing up in will likely be more divided than when you begin Kindergarten. I’m sorry the grown-ups who are in charge sometimes act like your peer group. I’m sorry that you are growing up in a broken world. Please know this was not God’s intention. I’m sorry that you will have even greater challenges than I did growing up. I’m sorry I will not be able to shield you from the ugly and hurtful things you will see and experience in your lifetimes.
As you grow up, I want you to remember a few things. First, remember there is a God who created you, loves you, knows the number of hairs on your head, and desires you know Him in a personal way through His Son Jesus. Second, choose to see the good in people. I say choose because it is your choice. Never allow someone else to tell you how to treat or think about another person. Finding the bad is easy; looking for the good requires greater effort. Third, always run to the protectors- like your daddy. There are people in this world who choose to protect others’ safety and put others ahead of themselves. Fourth, never doubt your mommy and daddy’s love for you. Next to God’s love, there will never be a more powerful, consistent, and honest form of love than the one that comes from your mommy and daddy. Never doubt that.
Babies, I want you to know I pray for you. I began praying for you the moment I found out you would join this world. I pray that you will come to know the full weight of God’s love, and you will, in return, love, serve, and pursue Him all the days of your lives. I pray you both will do your part to make the world a better place. I pray for wisdom as make decisions early on that will undoubtedly shape your future. I pray your hearts will be guarded against the anger, hatred, confusion, and sin so commonplace today. I pray for discernment as you choose who to allow into your lives. I pray your future friends will be trustworthy and always have your best interests in mind. I pray that your future spouses will love the Lord and respect you. I pray you will always want to hold your mommy and daddy’s hand.
Finally, I pray for your mommy and daddy. For your mommy, I pray as she works inside and outside the home to help provide a stable, secure, and happy life for you both. I pray the Lord will strengthen her and that her patience to be great- for motherhood is a ministry from which there is no break. I pray she will love your daddy more and more every day. For your daddy, I pray for him as he works hard to lead your family and to build an environment where you feel safe and protected. I pray the Lord will strengthen him and increase his patience as he faces uncertainties every day. I pray he will love your mommy more and more every day.
I had always heard that grandchildren brought with them a special kind of love. I couldn’t believe that was true- until I met you. I love you more than words can express. I promise to be with you as you grow up, and I will carry you in my heart wherever the Lord leads.