A letter to my son-in-law
You have a name. For years I have prayed for you but not by name, trusting that God knew who you were and was watching over you and growing you into the kind of person who would be best suited to love my sweet, yet mildly crazy daughter, Emily. Things I have prayed for include a good home life, a family who loves Jesus, a father who would train up his son to work hard and who would both model and treat his wife as Christ loves the church, for your resolve for purity to be strong and your character to be defined by integrity. It is amazing to be on this side of these prayers and see how God answered these prayers. I am grateful and humbled by His goodness.
I want you to know about Emily. She is a miracle and God cared for her from the very beginning by making sure she was conceived despite multiple levels of birth control being used and a scheduled surgery that would have inadvertently aborted her. We have always believed that God has a very special purpose for her and that our main job, as her parents, is to make sure she comes to know the sound of Godâ€™s voice so she would know it and be willing to obey. Not only is she beautiful on the outside but she is an amazing beauty on the inside too.
I also want to warn you that she is a renaissance woman. I hope you like eating comfort foods such as popcorn, popsicles and peaches; her food choices have been random. She loves to dabble and try all kinds of things and I hope you are okay with tripping over her clutter and finding art projects and hair accessories all over the house. She will be in a constant need for your grace. But you will love hearing her sing in the shower or while she creates. It is pretty awesome.
Connor, I pray now that you will lead your family well, that you will make your family a priority over the ministry, that you will pray with and for them daily, that together you will shine brighter for the Lord than you ever could apart. I pray that you will invite God into the core of your marriage and seek him first in all things.
Connor, I want you to know that I am looking forward to having you become part of our family and that the day I give Emily away to you, I will be giving you one of the most valuable gifts God has ever given me to steward. I will be giving you all the giggles, the tears, the joys and all the emotional roller coasters we have gone through. She will be all yours. Please steward the gift of Emily even better than we have. We have lived to protect, to provide for, to nurture, and to invest all we had into raising her to be the woman you would want to raise kids with, the wife you look forward to coming home to and the woman you spend the rest of your life being loved on. Please love Emily well. She knows what a healthy marriage looks like. She witnessed it growing up. So did you!
I am excited to see what God has planned for you both. I am excited for the family gatherings, the new memories, the first time we hug and bless the children you will have, and the wild joy that we will know as family.
Perhaps the most important thing I hope for you two as you begin your life together is not that you live happily ever after (although I do wish that too). Rather, it is that when life is messy and hard you two will remain thankful. Gratitude is at the core of all peace, joy, freedom and faith. I pray that you will both choose Jesus each day and that together you will look for all kinds of reasons to be thankful, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health for richer and for poorer. Look for Godâ€™s blessings every day and in the everyday.
May God bless you.
Miriam, your mother in law