To Our Graduated Senior

You graduated on Saturday. And it still feels kind of surreal. I think was a bittersweet experience for all of us. It felt like it would never get here. During the tough times it was a moving target on the horizon that we thought we would never catch. Graduation was years in the future . . . then months . . . then weeks . . . then suddenly over.

You worked hard to the very end of your senior year. Never letting up, never giving it less than your absolute best. It was hard to watch you work so hard when we wanted more of your time and less stress and more fun for you. But you were right and we were wrong. (I know - a rare admission from your parents who may not say it again - so enjoy it now.)

When you did your final evals and received your final grades you were flying a mile off the ground. Your elation and the incredible smile on your face will linger with your parents for a very long time. We are so proud of you for knowing what you needed to do, doing it, and reaching your goal.

You were overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who attended your grad party. Humbled by their kind words both verbal and written. You were poised and gracious as you greeted and spent time with each guest. Whether 2 or 82 years old you gave each of them a hug and your undivided attention. You have a rare gift for being fully present in the moment. For making everyone around you feel better just by being near you.

As you head in to the in between time over the next few months continue to strive to be present in the moment. This will be hard because you will find yourself looking back with yearning to the known and familiar. And you will look ahead with some fear and trepidation to an unfamiliar future.

Whatever the future holds never forget that your life is built on a rock-solid faith in God and a family who loves you, believes in you and will always be there for you. Remember that first and foremost you are a child of God. Strive to find your identity in Christ and not in friends, grades, or activities.

College will bring new people, ideas and beliefs into your path at a rapid pace. Always hold them up to the illuminating light of God and his Word. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6).

There is more to say but for now I will close with 2 Timothy 1:7. For God did not give you a spirit of timidity but of power, love and self-discipline. Go boldly forward my precious child. Knowing that God goes before you and that our love and prayers will follow you wherever you go.