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by Jessi Uran

Summer 2016: A letter to our daughter drafted in light of the recent shootings and terrorist attacks throughout the world. It is our fervent prayer that when she is older and reads each line, that it will be through the lens of knowing Christ as her personal Savior.

My Sweet Girl,

In the face of death and evil, you may weep and feel fear rising in your chest like the swell of a great wave…

Remember that it is God’s Word that gives us strength. Your body may be hurt, or sick, or hungry, and you may see horrific loss; but if you are a child of God, having proclaimed your need for forgiveness of sins and placing Christ on the throne of your heart, no one can claim your soul The Spirit alive and living inside you is the same Spirit that holds the world together and who gives breath and life and meaning. You are different. The world fears most things, but you fear nothing. Fear is not in our redeemed and sanctified DNA. Every piece of armor you could ever need on this earth to combat the enemy of your heart has already been given to you. It is the very armor of Christ Himself.

Boldness and strength, this is the character He calls you to. You are never alone. He is always with you. The wind and waves obey Him and He will make a way. He has done it for our family, and He did it for the Israelites. He will do it again. We do not cower in the face of death. Because if we die, we gain eternity. And if we live, we gain Christ Himself. This is your identity.

When a great shadow seems to hide His face, and you wonder what is to come of this world…

Remember that it is God’s creation that points to His sovereignty. He is on the throne, and we surround ourselves with His beauty even when the world seems ugly. It is in your bones to pursue distant lands and go on brave adventures. We fill deep the well of our souls with the works of His hands and all it has to offer. We watch sunsets and feel the salty mist of the sea on our skin. We inhale the smell of pines and listen to the loons at dusk. We venture out, and we are better for it. We love the earth and care for it, but not for the earth’s sake. We love it because of Who made it, and Who it reflects. When we see big things, it reminds us of our big God.

Every trip we take and every road we travel reiterates the boundless perfection of our Creator. He holds the balance. In Him, our tendons move and our lungs expand. Nothing exists and nothing is sustained without Him. You’ve seen this for yourself. You were kept safe, but you were not kept locked down. We do not live our lives in fearful retreat. We are cautious with what we see, what we read, what we hear, and with the friends we keep…but when it comes to this bright and shining world, we leave caution at the door and keep adding to our passports. This is your responsibility.

If you experience persecution or rage towards another threatens to consume every fiber of your being…

Remember it is Christ’s sacrifice that shows us true Love. None of us can claim righteousness. We are no different from our neighbor in our need for God. He is the true King who will bring forth justice at the right time. Talk of race, or gender, or beliefs may muddy the waters and cause us to lose focus; but we must always come back to our need for forgiveness and the privilege we have to forgive. If you know Jesus and His redeeming work, then you were drawn by His cords of loving kindness, and nothing else. Shame and judgment have no place in the way we interact with others or lead them to the Cross. We are not condemned; therefore, we do not condemn. His love for us is not contingent upon our love for Him; therefore, our love for others is not contingent upon their love for us.

How easy it is to care for a soul who is docile and grateful. That requires nothing. But we lace up our boots and care for the ones who may hurt us in their hurting. We don’t confuse our burden with our battle. Our burden is for the lost to come to saving knowledge of Who God is and what He did for them. Our battle is against spiritual forces that have nothing to do with our neighbor. Each immortal soul is to know your heavenly stamp of Christ through your love. This is your commission.

His Word, His World, and His Work on the cross. By these thing we are to wage our war. For darkness will never prevail where the True Light abides.

We love you always,

Mom and Dad