Big round eyes with long lashes, flashing a toothless grin stretching from ear to ear, our hearts were charmed. Even a stranger's gaze turned upon you and you generously, gratuitously broke into an eye sparkling smile. Happy, beguiling and strong, we dubbed you our Charming Child.
School, drivers ed, football, basketball, soccer, and friends fill your days. Active, never passive, you're determined, funny, noisy, loving and aware. Soon, so soon, 15 will be a distant memory and you'll be called into adulthood and all it's joys and responsibilities.
So right now, as you stand on the edge of the rest of your life, I pray you embrace who you are: strong, passionate, energetic, hardworking and brave and enjoy all God is giving you in this moment.
I know it's tempting to look back and define yourself by events in your past, both good and bad. But I pray you see them as molding, shaping circumstances-no more and no less- and let God be your definer. He loves you oh, so much. He knows every scrape, broken limb, disease, close call, and heart wound you've suffered. He's also rejoiced with every joy experienced. He's your Healer, Savior, Strength, Comforter, and Counselor and is calling you now, on the cusp on adulthood to an even deeper relationship with Himself.
.We love you and all that you are and we pray and ask God to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but an amazing inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And we ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live a full life, full in the fullness of God.*
Happy 15th birthday, son. Love, Mom & Dad
*adapted from Paul's prayer for the Ephesians in The Message