I was recently asked by my son’s teacher to write a short word of encouragement to my son as he prepares to graduate high school and head off to college in the fall; and I thought I would share it with you, in hopes that some others might find encouragement. It is not all inclusive, as I know there are many bits of advice that I am leaving out. I just need to look for opportunities to share those other pieces over time.

Dear Son,

First and foremost, always remember that you are God’s child, my son, and I will always love you. Never forget that. I am proud of the young man you have become, and I look forward to seeing how God will use you to impact His kingdom. No amount of miles changes my love for you…my son. You are never alone. I am always thinking of you, and God is always with you.

Enjoy life, for we never know how long we have. Live every day like it’s your last. Be yourself and allow others to see your true self. You are a wonderful, amazing child of God that was made in His perfect image.

It’s inevitable that life will present you with challenges, including fear, loneliness, uncertainty, and frustration. Know that it’s okay to feel these emotions. When times are tough or when you feel alone, you need to turn to family and friends, trust that God has you exactly where He wants you, and that He is probably using these challenges to help you grow.

Allow yourself to experience many new and amazing things that will bring you new friendships, new found strength, and new found confidence. At times, you will want to cry, but soon after you will laugh like you never knew you could. Be willing to make mistakes, for it’s during these times that we grow the most.

When you face temptation, and you will…many times, it is then that you must trust God’s voice that is in you. Do your best to identify situations where the devil can get a foothold, and run from them.

There will be times when you will feel others have it easier than you, but know that everyone has their challenges, you just don’t know what theirs are. Don’t compare yourself to others. You can only run the journey God has placed you on.

Look out for others. Show others how to love, and allow others to love you back. You will meet amazing women, but treat them with the respect they deserve. Remember, they are God’s children, so treat them as such. Allow your light to shine, for when you do, you are showing them God’s light.

Be wise with money. You live in a world that will tempt you, but it’s your responsibility to be a good steward of all things, including finances. Do not look to others, and what they have, to determine your value.

Never forget who you are in Christ, and never, ever give up on your dreams. The harder the road, the more you will learn, and the greater you will be blessed. The only limitations you will face are the ones you put on yourself. Burn your own path, trust in God, and you will change the world. You are amazing, and I can’t wait to see how God continues to use you.

I Love You!