Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

To My Daughter as You Graduate from High School

My dear, sweet Cassie,

I don't even know how to start this letter. The tears sting my eyes already as I begin to think of all the emotion that is pent up inside me.

It seems like just yesterday I learned I was having a baby girl. After two rough and tumble boys, I was so excited to have a little bundle of pink joy! Pink and purple. Lace and ruffles. Gentleness and peace.

Little did I know that raising a girl with two older brothers would seal your fate! I'll never forget the day you came out with a tutu and karate gear! It summed up your personality perfectly! You could be sweet and girlie but you always had that edgy side. It's what makes you YOU!

I had no idea when you were born just how quickly our lives would fall apart, how you would be faced with situations no child should ever have to face. I had no idea I would raise you as a single parent. I had no idea you would face the death of a parent. I had no idea you would face a life-altering diagnosis. I had no idea how difficult your life would be.

I also had no idea how good God would be! I had no idea the difficulties of this life would build a resilience in you that is unmatched. I had no idea your faith would flourish under pressure. I had no idea the gifts God had planted in you and how you would shine that light He placed within you. I had no idea how you would trust God to do a mighty work in you in the midst of the trials of this life so He can do a mighty work through you.

My sweet girl, words can't even start to explain the depth of love I have for you, how I stand in amazement of you each and every day. I know I harass you about your dirty room and your tendency to procrastinate, but the truth is those things make you who you are. God created you exactly as you are, and I wouldn't change at thing. You are deeply loved!

Honestly, I don't know how I am going to handle your moving out, moving on to college. I know you are ready. I know you are going to do well. I have complete confidence that you are going to grow into the beautiful woman of God He created you to be, that you are going to continue to grow and learn and mature. I know you are going to continue to allow yourself to be molded into the image of Christ.

And that brings me great joy!

You are on the right path, the narrow path that leads directly to our Savior. Your heart is fully and completely His, and that is what makes you so beautiful!

I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth. 3 John 1:4

There are so many things I could say to you as you graduate high school, so many lessons I'm sure I failed to teach you. But, here's what I want to say in this moment:

Don't forget the lessons you have learned. We both know you have learned hard lessons. You have learned to thrive in the midst of the difficulties of life. You have learned to turn to God when life falls apart. You have learned that God is faithful even when it seems He has gone silent.

You might not believe it right now, but it's so easy to forget. I used to look at the Israelites and wonder how they could watch God part the Red Sea only to turn the page in my Bible and they were grumbling against Him. And then I realized how much I am like the Israelites. The high of the mountaintop will fade, and you will find yourself in the valley. Wherever you are, remember God's faithfulness. Use those memories to keep your faith alive in the hard times.

Don't be surprised when your faith is tested. Again, sweet girl. I know right now your faith is strong. And, four years at a Christian college will likely strengthen your faith even more! But one day, you will find yourself wondering. Is it true? Is He real? Does he truly love me? Can He really fix this mess?

Sadly, the reality of human nature is such that we experience the roller coaster of life, the times when things are good and our faith is strong followed by the times that make us question everything we've ever known, everything we've ever believed. Remember that as the days go by, your faith will be tested.

And it's ok to doubt and questions. God is a big God, able to handle our doubts. As a matter of fact, it's often through the questioning that our faith actually grows stronger.

Don't neglect the gifts planted in you. Oh, Baby Girl! You amaze me with your gifts and talents every single day! There's few things I love more than to listen to that beautiful voice of yours, to be led into the presence of God by my own daughter!

You have spent the last few years maturing that gift, and now it will take you into the future. No matter where you go in life, always make sure you fan into flame the gift He has given you. Never, ever neglect to lead others to the throne of God in worship. That's the purpose He has given you.

Don't forget how much your Mama (and your Roy) loves you! No matter where you go, no matter what you do, you have a safe place at home. No matter what this life brings to you, there's an abundance of immeasurable love for you. You are and always will be loved fourth mostest!

My precious baby, go and do great things! I have no doubt that He will do a mighty work through you!

I love you!

Mom (and Roy)

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