Child, we adore you. Really. It’s obvious, because when you asked Daddy last weekend for a puppy, I saw his iron-clad resolve start to crack, just a little. We think you’re extraordinary, truly, in so many ways. That’s the way it should be, I think – finding freedom in never wondering whether your parents believe in you, and home being the place where you are safest and most honoured and loved.

But, Daughter of Mine, you are not perfect. Perfectly made, yes. Perfect for this family, most definitely. Perfectly wonderful, absolutely. Please though, never think that you need to be perfect.

Sometimes it’s so hard not to want to be perfect. Because perfect would mean trouble-free, right? Pleasing. Pleasant. The life of our dreams would mean that we’ve reached perfection. But your searching and striving for perfection will leave you at a loss, and never measuring up. In this life, there is always someone available to one-up us. Just when we find our perfect home, we tour a dream house that would be much more perfect. When we find our perfect job, we’re discontent because those we work with and for aren’t perfect either. When we have our perfect healthy-eating days, the siren call of an Oreo cookie or salty chip can remind us that we’re fallible.

I want you to know that you’re not perfect, and that it’s okay. Life is messy, and we’re these perfectly imperfect image-bearers just doing our best on this side of heaven. Choose the measuring sticks for your life wisely, because it’s so very difficult to measure up to ever-changing, ever-shifting standards. I want you to know that pursuing perfection is exhausting, and will leave you robbed of moments that were good and beautiful because you were searching for an unattainable standard. There are women that I see that always look ‘perfect’ to me (how in the world does their hair always look great?), but you know, when they see themselves, I suspect that they see every single flaw. We can be the most cruel taskmasters of ourselves.

So, let yourself off the hook, Sweet Girl. Give yourself and others grace – knowing that we’re all flawed. It’s just part of who we all are. Keep growing, and hold tight to the hope and knowledge that one day, we will be made perfect, no longer seeing dimly, and it will be awesome.