I have been trying to find words to describe accurately what this has been like watching you graduate, hearing your plans for your future, seeing you take those first steps into young adulthood. I have watched you move into this unchartered territory…a space that is yours alone,…apart from us. I will always be your cheerleader and your biggest fan, but I will watch you from a healthy distance. Why? Because this is how it is…you have hidden under our the shelter of home, and now, you must move to journey along on your own. But, I will always be close by.
Like, when you were little, and you looked to us first to keep you steady, to give you the encouragement to make friends, to try new things, to feel loved. Now your eyes look outside the safety of our family. And that is good. It is right. And it is normal.
And sometimes, it feels hard. It is bittersweet to watch you grow and change. I am so proud and sad that the years went by so fast. You know you are loved here…in the comfort and safety of home. You know you belong here. And now, you will leave us and discover that you belong in other places as well. But, I will always be close by.
What do I want you to know about the journey ahead? I want you to know that home will never leave you, even when you leave home. Leaving what is comfortable, safe and certain, means you will come back home with a deeper knowing of who you are and what God has called you to do…to be…and this is good for you. This is good for us. Good for us to stretch our trust muscles. Trusting that God will protect, guide, encourage and Father you. Trusting that He will finish the good work He started in you because that is what He promises to do.
You are lovely and far more courageous than you feel. I have reminded you, in the past, to guard your heart. Why have I said that to you? Because I know the places you will go and the people you will meet will bring tremendous joy and, at times, tremendous heartache. Joy and sorrow are in your future. We cannot insulate you from pain, nor promise you joy. I want only joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control, gentleness to be your future. I pray that over you. And yet, growing deep into a full life lived will be a journey of both mountain tops and valleys,…summertimes and winter seasons.
When roots go underground and grow deep, the world around the seed can seem dark. Stay rooted and grounded, endure the challenges of growing deep. The sturdiness of the tree you will produce with your life will benefit from deep roots that will bend but not break when storms hit.
Guard your heart against listening to lies about who you are or who you should become. Only one voice always speaks the truth, His truth will never disappoint you…listen to and align your ear to the Father’s heart. And be You, my love…be YOU!