First of all, let me say these words seem long overdue. Let me say I am so sorry for not sharing them sooner. I am sorry for what I have left unsaid, I am sorry for any words I have not shared with you that I should have. Perhaps I am just now understanding myself what I have spent a lifetime learning. And as I continue to learn I feel compelled to share with you, my children what is on my heart, what I am sorry for not sharing sooner. Perhaps I thought actions were enough, but words are needed to give certainty to the intent, to the reason behind the actions.
As millennials I see you searching for identity and purpose in your lives. We all do. For many it is a lifelong quest. We were made for more than meets the eye here, we were born with eternity in our hearts. You were made for more; you were born with eternity in your heart. And so you search. You long to live for something greater than yourself, especially if you are one of the lucky ones who figure out early on that living for yourself alone is never fulfilling. And so we all search. We find our identity in what or in who we belong to.
When you find your identity in the person of Jesus Christ, when you belong to Him, your search will come to an end. Why? Because who better to find your identity in than the One who created you? the One who knows every hair of your head? the One who has your name engraved on the palms of His hands? the One who formed you in your mother’s womb and knows the way that you take? the One who calls every star by name and yet calls you by name as well? the One who calls you a son or daughter and calls you friend? the One who left His home in glory to shed His blood on a cross to buy you back from sin for God for eternity? God is the One who knows you and knowing you fully, found you of such infinite worth that He spared nothing, not even His only Son, to reconcile you to Himself.
Our purposes are so small, God’s are so vast. Our purposes so fleeting, God’s so lasting. You know that Jesus died for you, to save you from the penalty for your sin. But Jesus’ death and resurrection was just the beginning of the story, not the end of the story. It is where relationship with Him begins, not ends. Jesus came to save you from yourself for a purpose infinitely greater than yourself. He is Savior and He is Lord and He is so much more. (as if that weren’t more than enough all by itself) He is infinite in all ways, you can spend a lifetime pursuing Him and never come to the end of Who He is or what He wants to teach you or what He has for you to do. It is an adventure beyond what you could imagine or choose for yourself. It is full of life’s molehills and mountains, full of mercy and mustard seeds of faith making miracles, transforming hearts and changing lives, yours included. I’m sorry if I never told you this in words.
I’m sorry if I never said to you that God has a plan for your life. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jer. 29:11) You were created on purpose, you were purchased with Christ’s blood for a purpose, a purpose bigger than yourself. You have an eternal purpose, you are part of a story bigger than your own story, you have a part in God’s story. This is your context, for there is no purpose apart from context. Purpose requires context and context requires connection. You will find your purpose not in a what, but in a Who. In the context of an eternal, everlasting God’s plans for those He created, you will find your purpose as you are connected to your Creator. “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.” (Psalm 33:11) Created in His image, you are invited to participate in His eternal purposes.
The answer to your fleeting insignificance is your Creator’s eternal significance. In light of eternity, your brief years here on this earth are like the new grass that springs up in the morning but by nightfall is withered and fading away. Even so, you are of infinite value to your Creator. “O Lord, what is man that You care for him, the son of man that You think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” (Psalm 144:3-4) And yet, “. . . not one of them (sparrows) will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. . . . even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
So there it is; the God who created you cares for you, He knows you by name and He watches over your comings and goings. We all search for significance; we want our lives to matter, we want to think that we matter. When you find your identity in Jesus (who loved you enough to give His life to secure your eternal future with Him) you will also find your significance and purpose for your brief existence here. You are significant because the One who created you is significant. You have purpose because His purposes are good and eternal and unshakable. God invites you to live the life He has given you for His glory rather than for your own.
Dear readers, why would I share such a personal letter in such a public way? I guess because everyone of us struggle with these questions of identity and significance and purpose. Because we are looking for answers and where we find those answers (or in whom) will determine our futures. Because we all have often gone our own way, wandering far from the Heavenly Father who created us and loves us. And because, we each like the prodigal son, can return to a Heavenly Father still waiting, still watching and even now preparing for our return. ” So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) This is the welcome that awaits each of us as well upon our return. We have His promise we will be welcomed with open arms.
There is always more to say, but I will stop here. Trying to capture in words God’s infinite, eternal story and the unmerited mercy He extends to each of us in inviting us in to participate in His working all things together to accomplish His good purposes in each and every life, is more than could ever be expressed. Yet my hope is, these words will encourage you to seek your identity, significance and purpose in your Heavenly Father, who loves you with an everlasting love.
I love each of you, sincerely, mom
“. . . He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecc. 3:11)
“. . . No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1Cor. 2:9)
2 thoughts on “A letter of apology to my children”
Well said. And you used many of my favorite bible verses.