bed with art
art with photos
art on wall with succulent plant
I love you canvas
I am my beloveds

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CLAIM HER: DAUGHTER

H

er room smells of sweetness. Fruit soap, from her shower. Citrus-sugar, from the pink candle, unlit, on her dresser. She is a tangled lump, a mound of cotton comforter and sheets.

The room is dark. I crack the shutters open. And still, just the beginning of sunlight, shy and rosy, peeks slow. I open the shutters wider. I invite light further in.

Clothes lie scattered on the floor. A stack of books and binders. Fabric halfway folded, scraps poking out from the sewing box my mother gave her last year.

I bend, soft and quick, kissing her cheek before she feels light’s tiptoe into the room. I want to be first—the first to wake her. Mostly because she still lets me be first.

Her bed is bigger now, with a linen-iron headboard. Dolls huddle on a chest in the corner, under a magnetic wall board decorated with Polaroids and Instagrams.

She is in the middle, here. My eleven year-old girl. We feel the push and pull of her growing up. Desire for safety and adventure both. Wanting to belong. Yet delighting in independence. It’s hard.

Mother and daughter know now–the sacred space beyond morning–beginning. Time is held here, the place where the Father bends to kiss his beloved. I am my daughter’s mother. And I am her sister too.

And it begins with the acceptance: we are God’s daughter.

For here, here is the sacred echo of lullaby we know, that we have always known. The trust of belonging before we knew words, before we knew birth. Daughter is before time—it is in it and beyond it—existing in moments and yet more than moments too.

Daughter—the creation of beauty creating itself through the knowing itself. Daughter knows who she is, and she lives out the truth of that claim.

I am yours, and you are mine.

My daughter’s eyes open after she first sighs. Legs stretch out, then arms. Her cheeks are exquisite, like the cheeks all mother’s know. Cheeks that still squish with the pressure of lips. Cheeks that smell of purity, the timelessness of birth, the innocence of what is true.

It is the sensation of her cheeks on my lips that reminds me. The name I forget when day drags light around, lassoing sun rays and pretending its boss. The name of beginning. The name of what light is. The name of hope. The name of True.

I want to awake True.

And the kiss of her cheek lets me claim it—for True is the name of daughter. True is the name of pure. True is the name of beginning. True is the name marked bold, tenacious, light, glory, color. True is tucked in fast and close, tucked into the crook of her Father’s arms.

God holds True like a mother. He holds her and kisses her cheeks. He awakes her further, whispering beauty, inviting her to stay always, and trust Him. For He never, despite any circumstances, goes away.

We are the daughter. The beloved. We claim our inheritance, and the claiming emboldens us. Our obedience shows us the Truest Us: His daughter, His beloved. True is now confidence. In love.

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3).

In the darkness, when the sun has yet to shine, we wait for light to come. In light, theFather dispels the distractions that lead to forgetfulness. Rather, He gives truth that sustains: we are his daughter.

Come mother us, God. The beginning of every day.

Our identity, as a daughter of God, can change everything–how we view our circumstances, how we approach struggles, how we cling to hope or experience joy. How often do you think about your identity as God’s daughter? How does this change you in practical ways?

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Showing 2 comments
  • Sandie heckman
    Reply

    Omg Jen, – my heart! My daughter got married this summer…your story so beautiful. It makes me miss my daughter. I just posted a photo of her yesterday at age 9 months, because I miss the times when she was little. I don’t really want her little again because frankly, I’m so amazed at her beauty as I watch her rise up. Watching our littles grow into the women God intends for them to be – is a gift.
    But, you made me miss kissing her cheeks which by the way, always, always feel the same when you kiss your darling daughter. My 91 year old mother has told me this about my cheeks and I only see her once a year. You friend are seeing things through God’s eyes and it’s truly beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing your gift

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Sandie, you bring cheer to me this day–with your beautiful heart-. You have a way of doing that . . . which is no coincidence. Thank you, sister. I love thinking about how those cheeks just don’t change! I am so grateful for the gift of experiencing God through the ones we love and live with and watch grow. Your mom is precious. Bless you and your dear heart.

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