Exactly. Like. Me.

Dear Bella,
As I write this letter, my heart pounds inside of me. I only hope I can express myself well enough that you will one day understand the heart behind this note. I often joke that I have two daughters who look nothing like me. The day I found out that a little girl lived inside of me, I immediately imagined her to come out looking somewhat like her mother. Dark hair, dark eyes. Fair, slightly blotchy skin. People would instantly know we are related when they see us together. It was not to be.
With your beautiful olive-colored skin and curly blonde hair, I often wonder just what ancestor donated such a large portion to your particular genetic pool.
But today, I realized in the most vivid sense that looks are not what will one day tie us together. It happened suddenly, when I caught a glimpse of myself reflected so clearly in your exquisite four-year-old self.
As we enjoyed a choir and orchestra performance at church, I glanced over to you in your seat.
My heart skipped several beats and tears welled up in my eyes as I saw your posture. You had your right leg crossed over your left and hands clasped together in your lap. You caught me staring at you, and smiled that coy, dimpled smile you give so freely. I winked at you, then quickly turned my face away so you would not see my tears.
You were sitting exactly like me.
You had copied my position precisely. Our legs both crossed at the same point, and our hands rested at exactly the same spot on both of our mid-sections. Your fingers even intertwined just like mine.
I have no idea how long it took you to mirror yourself after me. How many sideways glances did it take you to figure out how to arrange yourself “exactly like me?”
I have said those three words over and over to myself so many times today.
Exactly. Like. Me.
Bella, if you only knew how I pray for more than that for you. I look at who I am compared to who I want you to be and implore heaven that you surpass anything I’ve ever done or will do.
God knows I plead with Him that you avoid the pitfalls where I have fallen.
Please know that I yearn for you to be more like Christ than anyone else you ever meet. The chasm between who I am and who I pray for you to become is huge. Please forgive my imperfections and see the good God has granted me to show you.
Today when you emulated my exact position, I knew you were modeling yourself after an extremely flawed individual.
I hope I have shown you that God’s love is better than life. And that my lips give Him glory.
I fear sometimes I have only displayed that I love the things this world has to offer far too much. And my lips do not always give him glory. But Bella, He has been my help. I have seen Him in the sanctuary. And I desire that you would behold His power and glory. (Psalm 63)
So tonight, I pray this over you, knowing that God has promised to “show covenant faithfulness to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
I pray my sins will be far surpassed by the unfailing love of God who redeems the broken and brings honor to generations. I pray you love harder, forgive easier, and serve others more than I ever have or will. I pray that generations of Godliness follow your lineage. May joy be the fruit by which people know you all the days of your life.
Know that your every step is ordered by God and find your satisfaction in Him. Sing loudly as you dance under the shadow of his wings, and cling to Him, as He is the only one who can truly uphold you.
Serve the poor, for when you help the least, you see the face of God. Exalt others and don’t seek your own fame. Live loud, Bella. Run hard. And know that this race is worth it.

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