My Dear Daughter,

From the moment the thought of you entered my mind, I have been wrapped around your little finger. I have loved you as only a father can love his little girl.

I can still see that bright eyed look in your eyes the day you were born—taking in the light and sound and excitement of this big world. The light in your eyes only grew as you did. You got into everything, asked every question, and fearlessly explored every new adventure you encountered. You were my little bundle of energy and love.

But now that light has left your eyes. That spirit that I saw so clearly, and which lit up every room you entered, has faded.

Now instead of holding life, your eyes hold tears. Instead of holding out your heart to any person that you meet, you keep it safely locked inside. Instead of boldly exploring life, you observe it from afar and analyze each and every word and action—afraid of ever being wrong. And instead of unabashedly being yourself, you try to change yourself to fit this year’s model of ‘you.’

If I ask, you will tell me that you are fine; and perhaps you truly believe that. But I have known that light in your eyes and I have experienced that spirit that is within you—and I have watched both diminish under the pressures of this world.

Perhaps it has been immature boys in your life that have hurt you and broken your heart. Or perhaps your friends have turned their backs on you when you most needed them.Or maybe the mirror has betrayed you and your thoughts have run away with you—never letting you forget a single flaw. Maybe it is even yourself that is your own oppressor. Or perhaps you feel that you have done too much, dug too deep, made too many mistakes, to ever escape from the pain that you are in.

Whatever it is—it is wounding you deeply. It is piercing the heart you are trying so desperately to hide and it is becoming the constant whisper inside of you that says, “You are not good enough; and you never will be.”

And so these lies keep you isolated. They keep you in internal angst and yet unwilling to seek help and expose the mess you feel you have become.

But you see, my daughter, when I look at you and I see your pain, only one feeling consumes me. It is not a feeling of judgement, it is not a feeling of shock or horror, and it is not a feeling of anger, expect towards those who have unjustly wounded you.

The overwhelming feeling within me when I look into your hurting eyes is the great desire to remove the hurt that is keeping you from me. I long to remove the walls, mend the scars, and restore the light to those beautiful eyes of yours. I yearn to remove the doubt you have harbored inside about yourself for so long and restore the spirit imprisoned within you.

I just want my daughter back.

You see, through the years, through all the pain, doubt, insecurities, and grasping at being ‘good enough’ that you have been doing—you never ceased to be that little girl I have always loved with the entirety of my heart. The one who was, and is, a perfect bundle of life and love in this world is she allows herself to be. Every hair, every quirk, every talent, every dream…all of these aspects of you are what make you the daughter whom I began loving long ago and whom I have loved ever since without exception.

Please, come back to me. Let me wipe your eyes and help heal your wounds and remind you of the beautiful woman that you are and the treasured place that you hold in my heart. You could never fall too far. You are my daughter—you need merely cry ‘Father’ as you did when you were young and I will come to pick you up. And I will always come.

With all my love,

Your Heavenly Father