To the Graduating Senior:

I shared these thoughts at today's senior tea for one of the coolest graduating seniors, who happens to have also been adopted. She and her family have shaped our calling in so many ways. I've removed names for confidentiality.

To One of my Favorite Gals on Earth,

Your life is one born out of risk and faith.

From the moment you were conceived, you had a mother who possibly denied the whispers around her and brought you into the world, regardless of the backlash. Then, whatever her choices were or what her life looked like, she chose to lay you on the altar of her heart, knowing she was risking the grief only a mother can feel, knowing she was sacrificing something she had given life to.

Before you were shaped, your mother and father, risked their hope, risked their hearts as they prayed for you and longed for you, never knowing whether God would allow the answer of their prayers to be yes.

They stepped beyond what the world told them was comfortable and predictable and made you their own. Their names were stamped upon you, and in that same moment a covenant family brought you in. We promised to love you, promised to fight for you, promised in faith to take the risk of loving you.

Love and faith are always risks.

And as you grew, you experienced that. You loved when there love hasn’t always been returned; you hoped where it hasn’t been fulfilled, as you wanted; you fought when it seemed the battle was lost.

And in the moments when it seemed your story was unraveling, and you sat on my couch and wept, He was imprinting His name upon your heart a little deeper, chiseling you into the shape of His son’s image a little more clearly.

For you see, you know that you, we, any of us were never made for happiness, safety or comfort. We were made for Jesus. And coming into this world, not one of us looks like Him. But as He weaves His story into our lives, into your life, and He allows all of us to take part of in it, the results are so much more beautiful than happiness or comfort could ever bring.

I know because I’m looking at you. I see your heart. I’ve watched it unfold in you, even in the moments you wanted to run.

So now, in the coming months, the risks and the faith will fully become your own.

Don’t settle. Don’t ever turn back, even in the darkest valleys; because as He has always been, He will always be with you, before you, behind you. And though the moments may seem uncertain, the end is secure. You really will look like Jesus, you truly do stand in the righteousness of Christ, and eternity has been grafted in your heart for a purpose.

And as you’ve heard me say a million times, and you’ll hear me say a million times more, you were made for Jesus. Let that always be forefront on your mind.

And only because of Jesus can you live in a way that this world is not worthy of you, as it says in Hebrews 11.

You have made Jamie and me long for Christ. You have believed in the calling God has placed on our lives when we stopped believing in it, and you have pushed us onward. You loved us, our children, and every child that has been brought into our home by God’s grace, with risk and faith, knowing there are no guarantees.

I’m jealous for His story in you and for the opportunity to watch it unfold.

Jamie and I love you more than words can say, and we are so proud of who Jesus is growing you into.

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