High School graduation is an important and unforgettable time in an individual’s life and family. It signifies their transition into adulthood and symbolizes the result of their hard work, discipline, and commitment to making it to this critical juncture. They have every right to be proud of their accomplishments.
My daughter is only seventeen and will not turn eighteen for a few months. As I helped her prepare for this important day in her life, my heart became flooded with so many emotions. We have been through so much together. From her birth, I hardly ever left her side. My pathway and every decision I made included her, and I mainly lived and shaped my life to be a positive example to her. I still cannot wrap my head around how quickly time has passed and how grown she is now. I am pleased with the person she has become and grateful that she remained focused and absorbed the lessons, disciplines, and standards taught to her. I am incredibly thankful to God, who has carried her through and continues to be her guide and protection in life.
Senior year was tough, and as you know, the pandemic changed a lot for her and others. They missed many things and time with their friends as they attended school remotely. My daughter was anxious that they might not have their usual prom or graduation, but God is truly amazing.
As I watched not just my daughter but all those young people walk across the stage to collect their certificates while beaming with so much happiness and hope for the future, tears gathered in my eyes. While I am excited to see so many young people positively moving onto the next phase, the prospects that await them, on the one hand, fill my soul. Still, I am petrified of those uncertainties that are not so favorable and can cause devastating results. In my heart, I asked God to guide and protect them everywhere that they may go. I asked him to reveal himself to them because many do not know who he is or do not acknowledge that he is the source of their lives. Consequently, they are left open to the wills of the evil one who has been waiting all this time for the right opportunity to destroy their hope, dreams, and lives. Yet, the hope inside of me burns deeper, and I know they will be an asset to this world.
Teenagers, I know that you may begin to feel grown and capable of making the best decision for yourselves. Listen and heed the wisdom of those who have been there already and desire the best for you. You will need them, and being an adult does not mean that you no longer listen to or accepts the guidance of others. The bible tells us that “the way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).
May each of you take the time to encourage, support, and help the younger ones around you that you know. While they are now adults, they still require much guidance and experience from us to make it.
So to all graduates, and specifically my beloved daughter Aliyah, congratulation. Put God first and be excellent in all that you do.