I take my middle son to the mall with his friend who is a girl, and it’s the first time I’ve done such a thing.

It’s not a date, because he is too young.  But she is his best friend and he likes her company.  I like the way her face says she thinks he’s awesome.

-...a girl who has not lost her         

-…a girl who has not lost her         

The ride to the mall is easy, and she talks without being self-conscious.  “My dad told me before I left, ‘Sweetie, you better not smell!’ ”  I laugh out loud and smile big.  If it’s possible for a 42 year old to admire a 13 year old, I do.

She is comfortable in her skin.  It is something even adult woman struggle with and somehow, at an age she should be obsessively self-conscious, she isn’t.

We walk together through the mall.  They talk.  We stop to find him shoes.  She tells me about wanting to be a missionary.

And suddenly, the years of my son before he finds his wife do not seem long.  And I want to find a corner of the mall to sit in a ball, become invisible, and pray hard for the young lady I know he needs to find.  I feel urgent and convicted, like this is too important for me to have not prayed for it enough, already.

A girl who has not lost her sweet.  The demeanor of a young lady that radiates Jesus, one who isn’t completely obsessed with herself, one who can look adults in the eye and carry on a friendly conversation.

A girl who has learned to accept herself.  When she does not spend most of her time asking him to make the things she doesn’t like about herself ok, because he will never be able to.

A girl who is obsessed with Jesus.  This kind of girl will change his life.  She will love him deeply, stick around, because she loves Him most.

I’m a mom, so I want for him a lot.  I want his future love to be pretty and have great hair and be smart and talented and funny and come from amazing parents my husband and I will enjoy and occasionally laugh at dinner with.

But if she’s sweet?  And if she accepts herself, as the beautiful creation of God she is? And if she is madly in love with Jesus?  How could I want more?  Will not these things, especially the last, be the things that drive the others?

I believe….yes.

And though the years are still before him for him to date…and this precious young lady who is his best friend now may not stay forever in his life…I am grateful for how her sweet life reminds me of what I need to encourage my sons to look for after the mall days with mom are long over.