Tonight, you are tucked safely in your bed while many parents grieve the loss of their children. It’s enough to make me want to crawl into that little twin bed with you and snuggle while you sleep so peacefully. To give you extra hugs and chocolate and tickles because every moment with you is so very precious.
When you were little (because 5 is so very big) – when it was just me and you – when the day was hard and I didn’t think I could go another day being your mom all by myself, I could hold you while you slept and remember what a precious gift you are to me. And even when I felt totally alone, and even before I knew Jesus was holding onto us tight, I had your little sweet lisping, singing voice to wake me every morning. Now you are so grown up. And sometimes I am tempted to think your lisping voice not quite as sweet. I’m sorry for the many times I am selfish. For being slow to listen and quick to anger. I pray that you will see me not as self-righteous or critical and judgmental, but as a rescued sinner in need of the very grace I long for you to experience.
There is so much passion welled up in your little 5-year-old heart. You are a dynamic communicator. A gifted leader. Yet you are sensitive and emotional and, well, unpredictable. I pray constantly that Jesus would teach you to control your Spirit, just as I need to continually learn, that you could grow to be a woman of passionate faith that will bring Him much glory. I pray that God would shape your emotions with the truth of His Word, that you would love the truth and that it would keep your heart free from the chains sin promises. Oh Hadley, I pray that you would continue to long for heaven as sweetly and simply as you do now – to long for the presence of Jesus – that your tether to this world would be as weak as that tooth hanging by a thread that you are just desperate to lose – that you would unquestioningly give up any earthly treasure in pursuit of your King.
Four was a good year – the big sister year – The year you stopped needing me so much, and the year you seemed to cling the most. The year you became a little girl who could read and write and suddenly had all these ideas. This year was filled with as many words as the rest, but this time the words formed sentences spelling out intricate stories with incredible details complete with illustrations.
Four was another year of princess dresses and princess movies and lots and lots of pink. Before you were born, I swore I would never dress you in pink. I didn’t know you would have a different opinion about that.
You are a present from God to your dad and I, to your sister, to our family and friends. You will be a blessing to every child God brings into our home. You are such an important piece of this family. You bring the stories and the imagination and the energy and the joy. We cannot imagine being the Dahls without you.
Happy birthday, my little love.