A letter to my daughter Elena on her second birthday:
Sweet Elena, your name means "Shining Light," and you have certainly fit the bill to your name. You are a true joy in every way and you were even nicknamed "Smiley" by your Papa. Your big brother Luis and big sisters Ariana and Payton adore you. There are things in this letter that may confuse you by the time you are old enough to read, but I firmly believe by the grace of God as you get older you will come to understand the depths of this letter more fully and the depths of God's love and perfect plan for your life.
The miracles we read about in the Bible aren't just folktales, they aren't just stories, and they aren't just things that people in Bible times were able to do. Miracles still happen every single day, and they happen by the power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and we believe that He is our savior - than that very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive inside of us! You need to know that your life is nothing short of a miracle from God.
You need to know that your life is nothing short of a miracle from God.
One day I am sure you will read mine and your Father's story, (in the book I am currently writing!) and we will tell you about it along the way as you grow. By the time you arrived, you joined us during the healthiest and most joyful time in our marriage and in our family - which makes it all the more appropriate that your name means shining light, because you really are the fruit of God shining his light over your Dad and I. You are surely a miracle that He blessed us with.
About three years before you were born, Daddy and I were in a pretty rough spot. We did not have our priorities right with the Lord. He was battling addiction, and I was battling the false sense of putting a fairytale marriage above God's place in my life. My anger got the best of me, and I actually at one point got to a really dark place where I was ready to give up on your Dad. However, I'm a pretty stubborn person, and as such somehow and certainly by the power of the Holy Spirit, I decided that no matter how mad I was at Daddy, Satan was not about to destroy our marriage and we were going to make this work and give God the glory! That's barely even a snapshot of the story, but what you need to know is that God made a massive change in your Daddy's heart and He set him free from his addiction. Then God set a fire inside of your Daddy to come home and be the Godly man and husband to your Mama that God called him to be, and to be the Godly Daddy to your big brother and sisters that God called him to be. God then provided a miracle in your Mama's heart and He humbled me to my knees and showed me where I was wrong, where I needed to change, and where I needed to put God as the priority in my life, not in the fairytales. God provided this miracle in mine and Daddy's marriage in February, 2018.
So how does this make you a miracle? Well, my darling, you were born on September 14, 2019, which is exactly 1 year and 8 months after I nearly gave up. My sweet girl, God knew before you were even born that He was going to form you in my womb, which means He knew that when I was thinking about giving up on Daddy, you were already a perfectly packaged gift God had in store for us. Turns out God had a fairy tale in mind for me after all - I just didn't see it until I made Him my priority. I praise God I stayed the coarse and we got you!
Turns out God had a fairy tale in mind for me after all
God had a different story for the Renteria's. We are united in love as a family and you have been gift wrapped by God as our shining light, baby Elena. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for your life girl because He fought the enemy off with a determined plan to bring you here. I will do my very best to raise you up as a fierce warrior for Christ and stand firm in the joy of the Lord all the days of your life.
Happy Birthday Laney cakes! Mama loves you so greatly! And in case you're wondering, I am wildly in love with your Daddy!
PS: Don't go getting in over your head, all three of your older siblings are miracles and lights in our family too!