Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Letter to my Sweet Girl on Her College Graduation

This won’t surprise you sweet girl, but I’ve started to write this letter many times now and each time I end up in a puddle of tears (one-eyed of course!). As you prepare to graduate from Baylor (how is that even possible? I swear you started Kindergarten just a few days ago!) I could not possibly be prouder of the young woman you have become. From the moment I knew I was pregnant with you (after years of praying for you) you captured my heart! You’ve always known right from wrong guided by Jesus and your eternally positive drive to find the good in people. Watching you grow from an adorable, bouncing and almost always smiling baby girl into a beautiful, confident and caring young woman has blessed me more than you could possibly know. Why God picked me of all the mamas in the world to be yours I’ll never know, but you truly are my greatest earthly blessing.

You have grown and changed in so many ways over the last four years while at Baylor. You choose to leave home to go to a school that you felt God called you to, where you basically knew no one- leaving everyone and everything familiar at home- including all your close, precious friends. I know how hard that was for you, but you handled it so amazingly well- quickly making new friends and building what I have no doubt are life-long friendships as well as jumping into new groups and leadership roles- always with a heart to serve others. You went from often being a follower to finding your voice and becoming a fabulous leader. Watching you flourish and grow into the person you are today has been an incredible honor and joy.
My sweet girl, you have exceeded my biggest hopes and dreams for you. Being your mama has been my favorite job, EVER. I truly can’t imagine life without you and I thank God for His graciousness is allowing me, of all the women in the world, to be YOUR mama. The joy you’ve brought to my life is incredible and such a gift. You always strive to do your very best and you may not know this but by doing so- you challenge others (including your mama) as well.  I could write a giant list all the wonderful things you’ve done and accomplished over your years at Baylor, because I am so very proud of them (Dean’s List, CASA 5K chair, YMT leader, Dallas CASA internship, etc.), but that’s not what I am MOST proud of. What I am most proud of is your character, your love for Jesus, and your gigantic, Texas sized heart.
A few of the MANY, MANY things I love about you are:
  • You are resilient my sweet girl. When something doesn’t go your way and life knocks you down- you get right back up, dust yourself off and try again. I so love your tenacity!
  • You are so, so loyal when it comes to your friends and to your family. And, even when that loyalty isn’t returned, and folks let you down, you are still loyal.
  • You are caring. You pay close attention to those around you– everyone around you, not just the people who you love and see every day. Everyone. You give everyone a fair chance, no matter what others say about them. And sometimes you are disappointed. And yet, you are still caring.
  • You are loving. You love fully and with your whole heart and hold nothing back. You love your friends and your family and all those around you. And once you love, you don’t yield. Your heart is as big as Texas and your love for Jesus and others shines in all that you say and do.
  • You are forgiving. When someone hurts you, you forgive them, even when it’s not easy- because you know that is what God calls us to do. 
  • You are brave, in that you aren’t afraid to try new things- even when you are scared. You don’t shy away from a challenge- even when it seems huge and scary. 
  • You are humble, in that you know that there is so much you don’t know. But you are always, always, always eager to learn.
  • You are funny and FUN and don’t take yourself too seriously. You love to laugh and be goofy and don’t worry about what others will think if you do something silly.
  • You are passionate. From sports to Baylor to children in need- you feel so strongly and deeply. Not only do you feel passionately, you act on those feelings and work to make situations, your community, and the world a better place.
  • You are strong. You know who you are and stand firm in what you know is right, even if you find yourself standing alone. 
  • You are so very thoughtful and kind. When you were little, we used to pray each morning on the way to school to consider others as more important than ourselves and you, sweet girl, live out Philippians 2:3 each and every single day.

 I know that as excited as you are to graduate, you are also fearful about the unknowns ahead. As a girl who loves structure and routine (so like her mama), the unknown IS scary. So, I want to put your mind at ease because my precious girl, YOU ARE READY. College is so much fun and I know that you have absolutely loved your years at Baylor. You have made precious friends, learned tons academically, and had so many fun experiences and adventures- and each of them has played a part in getting your ready for the big world waiting for you out there. You are mature, confident and grounded.You know whose you are and that with Jesus at your side all things ARE possible.

So, my sweet baby girl, in front of you is a big, beautiful world filled with so many people and opportunities and adventures and you ARE READY FOR IT! You ARE ready, and I can’t wait to see the next chapter of your life.

I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck,