Dear you…

My precious child,

I see you. Struggling under that burden held far too long. It’s so very heavy, and you’re so very tired. You smile – tell people you’re “fine”. I know you’re not.

And I want you to know that it’s ok not to be ok. I don’t want some kind of Stepford child, with a glassy eyed grin and a perfect command of absolutely everything. I want you to be real with me. I can handle it – I’m bigger than you.

You’ve been struggling for so long – sharing the burdens of everyone, but never daring to let go of your own. I know you feel like you’re going to collapse. And I know you wonder where I am in all this. You feel so very alone sometimes, don’t you?

I want you to know that I’m there, with you. When you get angry over those things that were done to you – it makes me angry too. When you weep, I weep for you and with you. And all those victories, the ones you think are too small to celebrate – I’m here, cheering you on.

Precious child, I love you so much. Do you remember that first school sports day? You dreamed about being an athletic wonder, but younger and smaller than everyone else in your class, you struggled, didn’t you? And you kept going, determined that this race would be your race. Until the last one, where you gave up, and trailed in at the end, feeling like your dreams were broken. And at the end of that race was your dad, cheering you on, as if you were an Olympic athelete. He made you feel so good that dau, didn’t he? And that’s just a fraction of how much I adore you. I delight over you. I made you unique and special, and you have a special place and purpose in this world – one that only you can fulfill.

Right now, you feel like you’re on the age of a lake – teeming with sharks. You can see the other side, and it’s perfect and wonderful. But to get to that place of freedome, you’ll have to take those burdens into that lake and battle with stuff you’ve tried to bury for so long.

I promise you, the other side really is worth it. I promise you this too – you don’t have to battle those sharks alone. Lots of my children are expert shark killers, and they’d love to come and help you out. D’you think you could be brave enough to ask them? You can also look out for those who’ve battled their own sharks – I did it for them, and I can do it for you. Look out for those cheerleaders too – those who will encourage you along the way.

Finally, remember this. I’m on the other side, and I can’t wait to welcome you. But I’m not just on the other side. I’ll be right in that water with you. And when you think you can’t make it – when the sharks loom ever closer, when you’re frightened you’re going to drown, look to me. Look to my cross. Look to that empty tomb. Those sharks will be beaten.

Love,

Your Dad.

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