Sunday, February 14, 2016 (Alex 10, Ana 6)

Dear Ana,

Today we attended the birthday party of the twins you were buddies with in preschool.  You still miss your old friends, so you were excited to see several of them again.  The main entertainment was a magician who captivated the room with 6-year-old potty humor and frequent calls for assistants.  The same boys and girls raised their hands again and again, so sometimes he called on someone who hadn’t volunteered.  Some obliged.  Others refused.

A little later in his act, the magician announced, “I need a very pretty girl to assist me with the next trick.”  Every girl’s hand shot up.  Even the ones who had declined to help just minutes before eagerly waved their arms in the air.  Every single girl in the room believed she was beautiful without hesitation.

I thought about your bright and witty cousin whose confidence was unshakable as a young girl.  But as she entered her tween years, it began to fade.  In sixth grade, there was a boy in one of her classes who was being rude.  She explained to her mother how her attempts to stop him were futile because she wasn’t one of the pretty, popular girls.  It was heart breaking to watch the transformation.  She happened to be beautiful inside and out but no longer identified herself as pretty or worthy.  By the time she reached her teens, she was plagued with self-doubt that spiraled into crippling anxiety and depression.

In a world that narrowly defines beauty, value and success it is no small feat to feel enough.  It is no small thing to remember you are born worthy like all of God’s creation.  When this truth escapes you, you have to pause and still the messages that trick you into believing you aren’t enough.  You have to remind yourself to look inside and connect with your true worth while recognizing all the false places you may search for it–in your appearance, status and accomplishments.  It will take courage to not attach your value to things that are ever changing and live instead from the place of your eternal worthiness.  It will take even more courage to live from that place when others still measure you by another standard.

Standing there watching you and all those pretty girls with your hands and heads held high, I wished through some magic you would always trust your worth.  That each of you would tune out our world’s often warped messages and keep believing without a doubt in your inherent beauty and value.

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