Being firm in your faith can be a struggle as a college student. We truly seem to slip when our schedules get too packed with events, homework, and classes. Finding time can be a challenge, but knowing that God always has your back is something you seem to never forget. You are strong in prayer and know that His plan is greater than yours. Always. So, here are a few things you do because you know that God is in control.
Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.
1. He has always been there.
Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.
2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.
I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.
3. He sends the cutest texts.
Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.
4. He taught me how to be brave.
When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.
5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.
My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.
6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.
Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.
7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.
Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.
8. He shows me how I should be treated.
Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.
For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!
To my dearest son or daughter,
Please know you are so loved. I see your eyes reading this; feeling far away from my words. I see how it hurts you to feel this distance between us. But know I am here with you even in your valleys; even in your seasons of pain and struggle. I am here in the right now. I realize the days can drag on and the nights can feel so lonely and empty. But please know I am with you, and I am present in loving you. Even when you may not feel me. I pay careful attention to all of your hurt, and I recognize all of your pain. I hurt with you. I see it. It does not go unnoticed.
You do not go unnoticed.
As hard as this may be to understand, it is all a part of something so much bigger than I have planned for you. YOU are a part of something so much bigger than yourself. I know difficult times make it hard for you to see that, but I am right here. I never leave. You have to believe that. And I need you to trust me. Even in your darkest moments, wait for my voice. Listen, and I will guide you. Let your spirit rest and pay close attention to all the ways I speak to your heart.
Amidst all the chaos, I can be hard to hear. But if you'll take a minute to breathe and quietly listen, you'll start to hear from me again. Just simply seek me and you'll find me. That's it. I never leave. I'm here. My love is always with you. My attention is always on you. I spend every day thinking of you. Waiting for you. Do you not see it in all the little things I show you? All the small gestures that stand out among the rest? Those are from me. Those are gentle reminders that I'm currently listening to you and loving you.
You just have to trust me.
You have to trust me through it. I know that can be hard for you to do; I know our journey together has been a difficult one. I know at times it's been long and seemingly hopeless. But you haven't given up and neither have I. We are a team. We have to work together to continue towards the hope that lies ahead. The joy that lies ahead. The promises that I have for you. Because I chose you and created you to be something incredibly special in this world, and I need you to keep fighting. I chose you to be a warrior through all the pain and adversary. I chose you to be strong, courageous, and persistent.
And you are.
I made you that way.
And the future that I have planned for you is something bright and fruitful. It is full of happiness and hope. It is overflowing with love and fulfillment. And I picked you, especially for this future. I made sure it was everything that you so desperately needed and wanted; I made sure it would always be enough. Because I love you and care for you. Because I want nothing but the absolute best for you. Because I listen. Because I'm here. Because your struggles and pain do not go unnoticed, and they matter to me. You matter to me. Your existence matters to me. Because for a little while, child, you must understand hurt to appreciate joy.
Because your hurt will either shape you or break you. And you are given the freedom to decide which that will be. With me, you will be shaped. You will be loved. There will be a purpose for your pain. You will fully appreciate joy. You will grow strong. There is victory. But with this world, you will be broken. You will be deceived. You will be treated far less than you deserve. It will drag you to the finish line and leave you to suffer. There will be no prize. Your pain will yield no joy. Your false idea of happiness will be destructive and disappointing. Because I am the only one who can truly provide it. This world cannot.
Loving me through your hurt is the only way to assure an outcome I can always promise you: Healing. Happiness. Rest. Fulfillment. Purpose. Peace. Joy. And because you continue to seek me through your struggles, I know that you quietly yearn for these things. You want to fill the emptiness.
You want to feel my closeness. You desire my kind, nurturing the heart. But here is why you are reading this: so you can finally understand that I desire you just as much, but more. I long for your love. I deeply cherish you. Everything you want, I promise you will find with me. That's why you feel the urge to know me so well; because I complete the piece of you that is missing. It's a God-shaped hole that only I can fill. Because I designed it that way. Your heart was made in my likeness. That's the reason you've continued loving others as I call you to do REGARDLESS of your hurt; because that is my sole purpose for you.
That is why even through your brokenness, you see the world in a beautiful way. That is why I created you with such a significant heart and soul. To love others as I do. To share my promises. To spread my warmth. To seek goodness. That is a gift I purposefully instilled in you for one significant reason: because love is my most important feature, and I trusted you with it. Love is what binds us all together as one. Love is what fixes the things that are broken.
Love is what allowed me to give my son to your world; even when this world rejected him.
It's what allowed me to watch him suffer to save you. Because even when you are broken and hurting, love will fix you. My love will fix you. It's the only thing in this world able to heal your heart to the fullest extent and fill all your emptiness. Nothing else can do this but me. So, I know you are hurting, and I know life can be painful. Your struggles can be disheartening. But please don't lose me in the chaos. Don't give up. Stay close by my side and TRUST ME. Trust my process. Trust that the things you feel are preparing you for a unique purpose that I have planned specifically for you — a purpose that you who are reading this was carefully created for. A purpose only you can beautifully accomplish.
Trust that your trials will grow your strength and prove your loyalty to me; and that your loyalty will be rewarded. Trust that I love you beyond measure and that you are never alone. You call to me and I'm here. Seek me and you will find me. Talk and I will listen. You are loved beyond comprehension, my child. Always. And I treasure you. I long for your heart and devotion. You are cherished to the highest extent. So please never think differently. Because I could never begin to describe all the ways that I adore you. You were made with eternity in mind. I wanted you forever. And I still do. Even though, for a short time, you must hurt here.
And that is OK.
Because with me, you will always be OK.
You will always be taken care of. You will always have shelter. So you must trust me through it. I'm right here. This place is dark without me. I am the only light. You must follow it. Understand that you cannot measure your worldly struggles next to my love; because this world is broken and will never lack pain. There will always be trials. You will always hurt. But my love in comparison will win every single time. My love will beat it. And that will never change. Refuge in me means healing. It means triumph and peace. It means joy. Your sorrow will be cured through me. Please give me your pain. I will gladly take it. I will gladly carry it. Because I love you. Because I painted the skies for you and created the mountains for you to admire. I made this world beautiful for you to enjoy.
If I didn't love you so infinitely, I wouldn't have taken the time to design things specifically for your own appreciation and pleasure. I wanted to give you the delights of your heart. I created the things that you love and filled you with that want for them. I gave you your caring soul and strong mind. I gave you your courageous heart. I gave you worldly desires that provide you joy and satisfaction. I gave you wonderful people to adore. I gave you those things for you to enjoy. Because I love you. Because I care about you. Because I wish nothing more than for you to be happy. And I would never want this life full of disappointment and sorrow to ever trick you into believing that I am not right here beside you, loving you. Rooting for you. Helping you. Guiding your steps. That I do not have your best interest at heart. That I do not care for your existence. Because your existence was purposeful. It was planned.
You are special to me.
I wanted you; I've always wanted you. I knew your impact on this world way before you came into it. I saw your potential ages before I created you. I decided on your purpose. I designed your heart. You are such an important addition to the piece of hope that I bring to this world. Because your worth is in me. Your love is in me. And you will change lives because of me. I can't wait to watch you continue discovering the purpose I have for you. The purpose that is unique to your story, unique to your pain, and unique to your life. Because it's enormous. It's so extremely special. It will reach nations and shift boundaries. And I planned it. So please trust me. Never forget that when you feel alone, I'm here to love you. I'm here to comfort you. I'm here to heal you. You say the word, and your pain is mine. No more burdens. No more shame. No more guilt. I'm here to take it all. You just have to let me.
Because I need you, and you need me too.
Which is why I'll be waiting right here until you're ready.