You came into our world and brought joy with you. You brought a fierce, pure heart and a genuine love that humbles me daily.
In your relatively few years on this earth, you’ve been blessed with triumphs as well as sorrows; gifts as well as challenges. Your faith and “silver lining” attitude has helped you persevere through them all.
Oh, how I wish I could say it gets easier from here.
Although the world desperately needs men of virtue and integrity, the world also makes it increasingly harder to become one. We have taught you to be sincere, honest and kind, but you will be tempted to grow calloused, disrespectful and snarky by “entertainers” on YouTube, TV, movies, and elsewhere. We have tried to teach you humility and service, but you will be encouraged to compete for money, notoriety and status by your peers in academics and sports. Even by teachers, family and friends who mean well, you’ll be encouraged to prioritize the things of this world.
When this happens, and it will happen a lot, my prayer is that you look to the best role model we have: Jesus. Spend time each day reading the truth, and growing your relationship with Christ. The lies this world will tell you have no chance against Him.
The truth is that your story began long before that snowy night in Kansas when you were born, and it is intended to be eternal. You are loved more than you know. You were created for a purpose, and you aren’t going through any of this journey alone, even though sometimes it feels that way.
I am beyond proud of the young man you are becoming.
I love you more than my feeble words express.
I believe in you.