Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Amanda!

Amanda, you are an incredible young woman with amazing strengths and talents! I often stand in awe of who you are and what you are able to do! You have excelled at nearly everything you have tried. From academics to sports to cooking to sewing to food preservation to construction to horsemanship to cosmetology to business management to auto mechanics to wrangling livestock to pet grooming to whatever you do, you do well. 

You are fearless and adventurous! You tackle whatever is in your path boldly and confidently. If you know something is the right thing to do, even if it is very difficult, you do not run from doing it. You have a backbone and a voice. You have boldness. Proverbs 28:1b ...the righteous are bold as a lion. God uses bold people in great ways. Once you are certain of the direction God is leading, don't let anything or anyone hold you back. 

God gave you two extraordinary testimonies of how He answers prayer and looks after His people very early in your life through sleepwalking. He wants you to use that in whatever way you can whenever you can for His glory. Your story is unique, and you have something to say for Him.

You have been a comfort to me through my miscarriages and still births. When the facts were hard and the pain of the losses swept over me, you didn't run. You stood beside me and offered your love and companionship. You have great compassion and strength.

I was so afraid to have a daughter thinking the past would repeat itself. Your father will tell you of how I ran with that fear to the Lord and begged Him to show me how to do things differently. I did not deceive myself by thinking I could do better; I knew I was too weak. I knew where to go for Help. God took ashes and brought beauty. He took an old story and a willing heart and made something new! I am so thankful to have you and your sisters! I am no longer afraid of the past repeating itself but rejoice gladly and thankfully in what God has done! It is stunning and far better than I imagined! I would not have wanted to miss out on knowing you or having this wonderful relationship!

This world has a strong pull, offers many distractions, and makes many empty promises wrapped in pretty packages. I am asking you to ignore all of those, and go after God's best for you. The way to His best for Amanda is found in His Word. Run to Him when this world tosses you around, when others let you down, or when you disappoint yourself. Find your safety and rest under His wing. Seek His leading, and don't compromise. When the battle is fierce and you are weary, remember the Ephesians warrior..."when you have done all you can do, stand, stand therefore." Where there is nothing more you can do, stand waiting. He will fight the battle for you. 

Use every bit of the unique story He is writing in your life for His glory. He has amazing plans for you!

Dad and I love you very, very much! Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.")  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39