You are, you know… beautiful, that is. It’s hard, sometimes, for you to see that. I know you often struggle to see how beautiful you are. You have a lovely smile, an inquisitive mind, a tender heart, strong and sinewy limbs, and a sometimes-awkward body which is growing from little girl into woman. You are beautiful.
You are precious, too. You are an unique expression of goodness in the world today, gifted with precisely what you need to be exactly the person you are meant to be.
My dear girl, I owe you an apology. Our world does not honor and love and respect you the way you deserve to be honored and loved and respected. In the name of “equality,” we have stripped you of your uniqueness. In the name of “progress,” we have robbed you of the gift of femininity. In the name of “healthcare,” we replace knowledge and experience with expedience and convenience.
You deserve to be taught that you are precious, that your body is a gift from God, and that you deserve to be loved and cherished for who you are. You deserve to be taught that you are more than long legs or big breasts or a tight bottom. You deserve to know that your value comes not from someone else’s assessment of your physique, but because you are you, uniquely the person God created you to be.
You deserve to be taught that sex is a powerful and glorious expression of God’s love for the world, that He allows us to partner in His work of creating new life, and that there is no such thing as “meaningless sex,” because opening yourself to another means baring more than your body; it means baring your soul. And baring your soul should never be a casual thing, done without thought, without planning, without an understanding of what you are giving away… and what you are receiving in return.
You deserve the guidance of loving adults, who remember what it is to be awkward and shy and nervous and anticipating and fearful and, oh, so filled with longing. You deserve the care of doctors and nurses who want to see you grow into a healthy, strong woman, even if it means that they need to say “no” and “you shouldn’t” and “wait.”
You, my beautiful girl, need to hear that word, maybe, most of all: ”wait.” Just wait, my dear girl, and you will be amazed at the glorious and wondrous things life has in store for you. Wait for the ring and the vow. Wait for the man whose heart is true and who knows that to love is to serve one another, not to service oneself.
And, if, somehow, you don’t (as so many of us didn’t), I beg you, dear girl, please, please, please do not plunk down some cash at the corner store for a Plan B that is anything but healthcare, anything but responsible medicine, anything but worthy of you.
Plan B assumes that Plan A has failed. And it has. That much is true. Plan A was that we would take care of you. We’d raise you to know and to love yourself. We’d teach you that you are precious and a blessing and more valuable than gold. We’d teach you that you deserve real healthcare, by real doctors and nurses, and not brightly-lit aisles in anonymous stores with smiling clerks who don’t know you at all.
Plan A was that you would grow up, safely and in your own time. You’d be awkward and insecure, and that was ok; you could take all the time you needed to grow up. Plan A was that we would be the adults, and you would be the youth, and you could trust us to take care of you.
We’ve failed at Plan A, my dear. For that, I am so very sorry. But, this Plan B we’re offering? This “quick fix” that promises protection and safety is a lie. It does not protect you, and it is not safe. Pumping your beautiful, still-growing body full of chemicals to erase a “wish I hadn’t” moment won’t ease your heart or your mind while it scours your womb. An eight-point font pamphlet tucked inside bright-colored cardboard cannot hear you and see you and show you the way. Drug companies and lobbyists are selling a “quick fix” when what you need, what you deserve, is time and attention and care, real care from real people.
We’ve failed at Plan A and Plan B is a lie.
I’m sorry, dear girl. I hope you can forgive us, and can find a way to trust us again.
Maybe, together, we can find a Plan C…something worthy of you, of your uniqueness and your goodness, something that will teach us all to respect our bodies and each other.
Maybe the answer is just that: us … together.