Tears and Fears…as Graduation time approaches

Our firstborn is graduating High School in a week.

My mom and my wife, my in-laws and my college twin nieces are all going to lose it.

I will stay strong… (not)

Inside, I will be a pile of mush… Jessica is my eighteen year old graduating from a time-honored institution of learning known as High School…she cruised through it. Graduating with straight A’s, NHS Honors, scholarships and awards, I’m really proud of her. REALLY PROUD. But not just because of what’s she’s accomplished or that she’s smart. 

I’m proud because of who she has become! Jessica is a strong, hard-working and resourceful young woman. Her head sits mostly straight on her shoulders 🙂 She is ready for the next stage of her life. She is ready to launch out into the deep and swim on her own. I have no fear about her being ready for college.

I’m proud because she has learned to work when no one notices, to be diligent when she didn’t feel like it…to listen,trust and follow God when her emotions told her to take charge herself and hurry things up. I have no fear about her faith.

I’m proud because she has a solid and beautiful understanding of how unique and irreplaceable she is as a woman, from her appearance to her purpose, she has accepted and even learned to love herself…just as she was created. I have no fear about her perspective on life and God’s plan for her in it.

I am terrified that she is leaving home… and will never need us again. I am scared to death that she has grown up so much that her parents will be a historical reference she uses only in past tense conversations with her new-found intellectual friends.  

But I am so grateful for the chance we had to be in her life… to love her and guide her and encourage her along the last eighteen years. I am so excited to watch now from a distance as she learns to not only walk into her life, but to RUN into the future. Nothing could be more twisted up inside of me as to accept that it’s her time to grow a bit more, move a bit further and become a whole bunch more than ever before…and that it will likely all occur somewhere far away from our home.

I guess that’s the pride and the pain of parenting… the reason parents have lots of tears and fears for their kids on graduation day.

So glad we learned to trust God for her as little one…

So glad her mom and I can trust Him all over again today…

We Love you Jessica Elaine… (sniff), going to miss seeing you everyday. But we are so excited to find out what comes next…. from your  “can’t be prouder and happier”  Padre and Mother 🙂

Parents… as I consider how it’s going to feel sitting next to my tear soaked and eye dabbing family members at graduation… I’m urging you, please – please – please – make the time, live well and wisely with your young ones!

Above all…take time to listen to God as He nudges you to be careful, go slow, speed up, stay firm, relax, or use a more gentle touch from time to time with your kids. There is NO formula, only your heart and theirs. Ask  and Listen often for God to show you and your spouse the best way to parent YOUR kids.

Psalm 16: 5- 11 (ESV) Bible Gateway.com

5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.

11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

In the end I choose to cling to the Word of God, Psalm 16 is one my favorite parenting passages in the entire biblefrom diapers to diploma’s, rest assured…God’s got your back and a whole lot more!

Peace Out on Graduation Week from RTP !

Brad.

PS – Jessica… I’m super-stoked to start our June RoadTrip from Seattle WA to San Fransico CA ! WooooHOOO 🙂

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