My how time flies. It seems like it was just yesterday when I was wishing you a Happy Birthday for the big 14! Now, you are 15 and growing more and more into a young woman. What a blessing you have been to our lives. I remember when it was time to think about naming you. I wanted your name to come from the Bible…and Joy kept coming back over and over again. The Bible is full of the word joy. It is to characterize the whole Christian life. And it has been a fitting name for you as you have brought such joy to our family.
You have changed so much in just a year. The traces of the little girl are all but gone. More and more you are giving up those childish wishes and replacing them with the desire to be a more godly woman. It is a bittersweet time.
I am so thankful for the help you are to me. In times of health issues and deployments, you have been such a great source of encouragement and service. You have pushed through and done things that needed to be done even when it was hard.
You have always been giving. Even when you were little, you would gladly give up your dessert to your father and me if we had wanted it. Even now, you do the same for any member of your family. And you are always quick to think of our sponsored children, donating money given to you to help them out. I pray God continues to grow this spirit of giving in you. You can never outgive God.
So today Joy…let me say Happy Birthday to my firstborn daughter. Thank you for being so loving and loyal. I hope the Lord allows me many years to share in your triumphs and your struggles. I am so blessed to call you my daughter and cherishing more and more everyday that I also call you my friend. May the Lord continue the good work He has begun in you. I love you!