Have I told you lately how much I love your heart?
I don’t ever have to worry about you being kind or gentle or helpful. You love everyone and make friends effortlessly. I love that about you. I prayed for that for you.
You’re a rule-follower like your mother . . . not so much like your father. You want to be a “mommy” when you grow up, even still, and you are the best second mother to your little brother. You go to him when he’s sad and snuggle him. I love watching the way you love him. Your teachers always tell me how kind you are to everyone in class, and I’m so thankful God put that spirit inside of you.
I worry about you, though.
I think about the way you always let others take charge and make the rules when you play, or watch to see what they say . . . then say the exact same thing, the exact same way. I watch you on the playground, following the other kids around, doing whatever they do, laughing at whatever they laugh at. You’re never the leader of the pack, but rather a half-step behind with a huge smile on your face.
You might change as you get older and grow in confidence, but it seems to be your personality to follow the crowd . . . to be a “follower” as they say.
And baby, that’s SO okay.
That term has gotten a bad rap. People think “followers” are mindless and lack courage or ambition. Who would want to encourage children to be followers? We want LEADERS, right? Kids who lead the class, lead the team, lead the student council, and eventually lead the world, right?
But sweet girl, if you don’t ever feel a tug to lead, you can still follow well.
Here’s the truth. If you’re not one of those natural-born leaders everyone talks about, I couldn’t really care less. Because what you are? Kind and meek, joyful and timid, obedient and loving. Gosh, those things matter. The world needs more of that.
You don’t have to be at the front of the pack. But you DO have to pick the right pack to trail behind. You do have to have discernment and choose friends wisely. You do have to listen to that feeling in your gut or that voice in your head when things feel off.
I pray God places in your path kind, servant-hearted leaders who see you for your strengths, who don’t manipulate or take advantage of you, who encourage and build you up for what you are, instead of bring you down for what you’re not. I pray you never follow blindly or obliviously.
There are advantages to being a follower by nature. Because ultimately, we are called to follow well. Maybe you and God won’t have the power struggle so many of us do with Him. Maybe you’ll be thankful to have someone Stronger and Wiser to look to and not be so proud to assume your own strength and wisdom are enough.
Honestly, I think someday you will lead, just not in the way the world expects you to. I think you’ll serve others, put yourself last, show compassion to hurting people, and point out the goodness in others. Those are leadership qualities, my love.
Here’s the main thing I want you to know: you don’t have to be more or do more. You don’t have to be the star of any show, run for class president, get invited to all the parties, or voted captain of any team. Unless you want to be. And in that case, I’ll support you 100 percent. But I won’t love you any more.
I’m just so grateful for you.
And someday? I hope to be more like you. I think you’re onto something.