Today you graduate from high school. I can’t begin to tell you how much this day means to me, to all of us, the entire village that has raised you these last 16 years.
Your dad, your sister and I are so blessed to be part of your wonderful journey, and we all can’t wait to see what God has in store for you over the next five years.
I carried you in my womb at the lowest, darkest point of my life, and perhaps having lived there for several months has imbued you with a depth and sensitivity unlike other young people your age. Always consider that as a gift.
You, who are able to see and sense intuitively the goodness in people. You, born with the extraordinary and kind heart which you like to mask with your wit and wry humor.
When you came into this world you were one of the bigger babies in the nursery, always ready with a smile. It was a joy to raise you, because you were never fussy and always ready with a smile that could light up an entire room.
Of course you and I know that we had several challenging years early on, as we struggled against issues of bullying and all the years it took us to overcome that. But God is faithful and gracious, and love always triumphs. Nowadays when I see you with your friends—or watch you on stage!—my mother’s heart is overwhelmed with gratitude and grace for the way that our Father has steered the course of your life.
I pray that you continue to shine in college, to bring glory to Him in ways that you would never imagine.
We have always been outliers, introverts, you and I. Misunderstood in our younger years (well, sometimes even today), high school wasn’t exactly the best of times for us, but it wasn’t the worst of times, either. The challenges strengthen us and prepare us for the next chapter we are about to open.
We both have a passion for the written word, and this early, I can tell who the best writer in this family will be. I am very proud of you, please always remember that.
Hardworking and resilient, that’s you. At a very young age, your work ethic is admirable. I pray that you stick with it as you begin to move out into the world. You know that it is sheer hard work that will help you, so harness that innate emotional intelligence of yours. Always put it to good use.
Make more friends as you find your way. I pray that you meet like-minded individuals who will continue to inspire you and challenge you in good ways, and that you are never led astray.
As you make your way into the next chapter, there will be numerous challenges to face. Some days will feel overwhelming. I want you to remember that all you need is to step back and reflect. You’ve always been a deeply introspective child, and with your new knowledge of philosophy to be gained from the school where your dad and I went, I’m sure you will find an even deeper appreciation for life and all the meanings we can make or find in the challenges that we go through.
Today, as you graduate from high school, I wish you the best of everything life has to offer. Use your college experience to be both a student and a teacher in the world. Find an area of service always; work and service together is what makes for a meaningful, richer life.
Strive as much as you can to do what’s right, and you will never go wrong.
Everyday I thank the Lord for the gift of you. Thank you for all the joy, the laughter, the care, the tears, the challenges, the hills and valleys we have had to climb to get to this day. We are all so very proud of you, and we love you more than you will ever know.
Congratulations! Fly high now, my child, the world awaits.