My Greatest Hope For You


“I hope you’ll always jump at life with your whole heart, knowing your immense worth.”

By Angela Doell | Twitter: @adoell

“What is your greatest hope for your daughter?”

I was 25 years old (many moons ago) and sitting in the principal’s office. I felt anxious and small and as though I were playing “grown up,” aware of my awkward hands on my knees. There’s nothing like the sights and smells of elementary school to transport you back in time. My husband and I were visiting the school I’d once attended, sitting through an interview, as we prepared to register our eldest child, Madison, for kindergarten.

The question was so simple, and yet I stuttered out the silliest of answers.

“I hope she grows up to be happy,” I said. Seriously. It wasn’t my most brilliant parenting moment. I kicked myself as we drove home that afternoon. The principal had shook our hands and graciously welcomed us to the school, but I felt like I’d failed some sort of test. Hello–what does “happiness” even mean?

I’ve revisited that moment often in the last 12 years, attempting to answer the question with at least some depth and clarity.

“What is my greatest hope for my children?”

My hope for you is infinitely greater than cheap happiness.

My Child,

hope you remain forever curious.
That you never stop asking questions.
May your desire to understand and empathize always outrun your need to be right.

I hope you know what it is to belong. May the anchor of your soul be deep and immovable. Let your life be an adventure wrapped around discovering your place and gift and voice to the world. I hope you’ll always jump at life with your whole heart, knowing your immense worth.

I hope that you’ll experience grace. That someone, somewhere, will extend unexpected mercy when you fail… And that you will find your strength in helping others get back up again too.

I hope that life’s tests and struggles turn your face towards your Saviour. I hate the thought of pain for you, but when you come to the end of yourself–and you will–may you find His everlasting arms. While I’d like to carry you myself in this mama-embrace forever,  I pray you’ll discover that His faithfulness far outshines mine.

My greatest hope is that your life points to Jesus. In your proudest victories and lowest moments, may His banner of love wave over you. I hope that His overwhelming love for you colours how you relate with others, how you serve, and where you invest your days and years.

You, my child, are my greatest work, and you are His masterpiece.


About Angela:

Angela and her husband Rod have been married for 18 years and they have two children, Madison (16) and Miller (13). Angela serves as a pastor at Relate Church in Surrey, BC. She loves finding beauty in everyday life and is passionate about communicating the grace, hope and reality of a living Jesus.