When I was pregnant with my daughter I remember praying for who she would be. I prayed specifically for traits that I hoped she would embody. I was filled with love and hope and wonder, and I was oh so very naive.
At the time, the vision of my prayers coming to fruition were filled with my daughter as a young adult and beyond. What I didn’t realize was that the things I prayed for my daughter to be, were placed lovingly in her at birth like seeds.
Seeds that I, her father, and our ever dedicated village would be responsible for cultivating. We would be charged with the great task of recognizing these traits in their infancy. We would be challenged to place these seedlings in the right environment and constantly monitor them to be sure they were growing as they should be.
I have more times than I would like to admit, wondered if we had given the young traits what they needed to flourish. I have also spent time contemplating if there was a way to take back a trait or two because dang, those plants can grow wild!
What I’m finding now, is that sometimes the plants must run wild so that they can be pruned just right. At times the traits just need a stake to help them grow in the right direction. Other times they are in need of shears to cut off dead leaves, and even still, at times, they just need space to grow on their own.
The journey as the parent of a daughter who is everything I prayed for her to be, is teaching me to be still. To watch. To respond to the needs. To hold in my heart the vision of what is possible. To sit and speak life on the days where she needs a little more sun, and offer shade when it gets too hot.
My faith is in the planter of the seeds. That he has, and will continue to equip me and her “people” as the gardeners. I trust that the traits he placed in her will manifest exactly how the Lord has designed.
I believe that her big emotions will give way to empathy and compassion to help others through life.
Leadership skills will help her to step up and assert herself in rooms where she KNOWS she belongs.
Confidence will empower her to stand up for what she believes in, even if she is standing alone.
Grit and perseverance will make her a force to be reckoned with in difficult situations.
Many many little seeds sprout and grow in each of our little girls. They are wild and free and untamed, as they should be. We are tasked as parents to weather the storms. To keep watch. Tame, without killing, the fierceness within them.
We are preparing them for a world that will at times tell them they are too loud, too bossy, too emotional…too much. We are preparing them to show up in authenticity. Preparing them to know that there were no mistakes when the “seeds” were placed in them. Each trait was placed with a specific purpose.
So, on the hard days We must remind ourselves ever so compassionately that we prayed for these traits.
We prayed for the strength they battle us with. We prayed for the conviction they feel about their beliefs, and we prayed for them to feel passion and compassion.
Who are we to now wish these traits away because in their infancy they require a lot of work.
We must instead remember that the race is long, that it will also require us to have grit, perseverance, leadership skills, empathy, patience, and compassion.
Those very traits we will be required to use, were once seeds in us. That we too, required the love, guidance, understanding and encouragement of another. And this, in itself, can serve to grow our patience and compassion for our daughters, who will undoubtedly go into the world and change it.