During her battle with breast cancer, Veronica Waldrop wrote a story for the two daughters she knew she would leave behind. In The NUFF, a confident yet imperfect unicorn lives her life without fear of what others think. This delightful tale encourages girls everywhere they are exactly enough (or rather, a NUFF), just the way they are.
Veronica may be gone now, but her words of encouragement have lived on for her daughters and inspired thousands of other girls too. Having recently lost my own sister to cancer, this story holds some extra significance for me.
You see, Rachel left behind a daughter too.
My sweet niece, Dylan, is only 8 years old. Seated right on the precipice of her confusing pre-teen years, the years when the struggles of body image and the disappointments of flakey friends begin to emerge. At this age, it’s easy to feel inadequate, or like something about you is broken or wrong. And for my darling niece, this confusing time is fast approaching.
But without a mom, I wondered, who will tell her she is enough?
So, I did.
I invited Dylan over, and I read her this book. I looked her in the eyes and told her she was absolutely enough. I told her God purposely designed her, just the way she is. Her hair, her smile, the quick wit of her mind. That she is His divine creation, fearfully and wonderfully made.
And while we talked, I began to think that I will need to keep telling Dylan this, over and over, and as much as she needs it in the difficult years to come.
So, when she thinks she doesn’t fit in, and it feels like all her friends have abandoned her, I will tell her she’s enough.
She’s enough when she has her first crush, but he doesn’t return her affection.
Enough when a cruel insult has been hurled her way and her spirit feels shattered.
Especially when she hates her reflection or her body’s shape, she’s enough.
Enough when she fails a test, a class, or misses a deadline.
She’s enough when she experiences her first heartbreak and feels like she’ll never be whole again.
Even when she messes up, disappoints, or outright defies. I will tell her she is, and will always be, enough.
More than anything, I wish Rachel was here now.
I wish my sister could read this book to her daughter herself. I wish she could be here for the next ten-plus years when Dylan will need her the most.
But instead, I will tell Dylan. I will tell her she’s complete even if the world or anyone in it says differently. She’s set apart by God for a purpose, and His plans for her are greater than she could fathom. That she’s loved, treasured, and whole.
As much as she needs to hear it, over and over again, I will tell her. That she is, will, and will always be a NUFF.