“MY SON, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you,Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it];Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures,Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God. [Prov. 1:7.]For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him); He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity,That He may guard the paths of justice; yes, He preserves the way of His saints. [I Sam. 2:9; Ps. 66:8, 9.]Then you will understand righteousness, justice, and fair dealing [in every area and relation]; yes, you will understand every good path.For skillful and godly Wisdom shall enter into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to you.Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you,To deliver you from the way of evil and the evil men, from men who speak perverse things and are liars,Men who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness,Who rejoice to do evil and delight in the perverseness of evil,Who are crooked in their ways, wayward and devious in their paths.[Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you] to deliver you from the alien woman (or man), from the outsider with her flattering words, [Prov. 2:11.]Who forsakes the husband and guide of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God.For her house sinks down to death and her paths to the spirits [of the dead].None who go to her return again, neither do they attain or regain the paths of life.So may you walk in the way of good men, and keep to the paths of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with God).For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the men of integrity, blameless and complete [in God’s sight], shall remain in it;But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the treacherous shall be rooted out of it.” ~ Proverbs 2:1-22
Today, my oldest daughter and firstborn graduates from highschool. It’s an odd feeling. No, it does not make me feel old. I feel more like long-awaited plans have reached a goal along the road of many goals. One long phase of her life, her childhood, is over. (Pause for tears before I can type again. Sigh) We have had some wonderful times, she and I, my beautiful Theresa, the child who first broke ground in my heart in a permanant, real sense. Theresa gets me, like few other friends have ever been able to do. She and I like a lot of the same things, and have a lot in common. In recent years, she has stepped in to a role of encourager, exhorter, and occasionally chasitzer, or is it chaser…..wait no that’s Harry Potter. Anyway, moving on…
When I thought about writing this post, I thought of all the encouraging, boring quotes I could use to point you off in the right direction, Theresa. But, they were boring, trite, overused, impersonal, and not the best I could give you. My best for you has always been my heart. My best has always been to try with shaking, imperfect hands, to point you in the direction of the One who will never fail you, the one accessory you dare not leave behind, and the friend who will never leave you or forsake you. God will never be too cool, or ditch you. He will hold your name in his heart and your life in his hand, so much longer than a tree. (Even a tree’s love has it’s limits, in spite of what Peter S. Beagle would say.)
I must grieve in that mother way, for the times of your childhood when I was your greatest hero, when you looked only to me to teach you things. I will cry a little because the next chapter means leaving some of these things behind, but not all. You and I can laugh only as you and I can, after all. But some of the dependencies you had in me must now be transfered to God. I know you and he have your own understanding. It makes me feel so much better about loosening my grip a little bit more. It’s like when you were little and learning to swim. I’d hold your hands as you stepped into deeper water, little by little you’d work your way past the cold torture of the water as it rose against your skin, your feet barely skimming the bottom. One day, you swam on your own, and you didn’t need me to hold your hands any longer. This has been the dance we’ve done for a long time now.
But times change, and people grow up. Your arms and legs are stonger now. You are able to swim, and learn, and decide, and choose, all on your own. I don’t always agree, or approve, but you have entered the realm of adult action and reaction. Bear it well, Daughter of Eve.
Many have or will or are graduating. This is the season for it. Many are going off on their own to tread the deeper waters of life, not all are as well prepared as you are, some are more so. Some of your future classmates will have more talent in some areas, some less. Many will have different ideas about life and God as they are away from their families and figuring it all out. Listen to them. Learn from them. Be thankful that your life lessons have not been what some of theirs will be. Be thankful that you have ever been surrounded by people who love you and love God and want more than anything for the two of you to be besties for life, and beyond. Yet while you are listening and learning and making new friends, never forget your Forever Friend. He is the friend of sinners. He is the Savior of us all. Don’t be intimidated or brow-beaten into hiding the Light inside of you. The world NEEDS that Light, it is the only light there is in this dark world. (John 1:1-5)
In a world full of fleeting glowstick-light, the blazing hot sun of God’s love is the one you need to hold dear. In love, as you go about your day to day, this Light will shine on those around you. Love them. We all need love. When they are hard to love, be kind, when it is hard to be kind, be silent 🙂 , but pray. Bless those around you as much as you can and trust to God. He moves in secret places no one else can see. He is the God of hearts, who has a heart, and who changes hearts. While we both wait for a certain heart we both hold dear to soften, we can pray for that as well, and trust them to God.
For you, the best I have to give you is what you already have. Don’t only GO with God, go FOR God and IN God and BECAUSE of God. Not everyone is a missionary in a faraway place. Not everyone ends up in an official “ministry” position, and yet we are all called. We all can minister. This world is hurting so very much. We carry inside our hearts, the Balm for the world, for all the souls of the world. Be a balm. Be the BOMB balm. In times when you feel uncertain and inadequate, remember He is a balm for you as well. JESUS
My amazing, restless, bossy, wonderful, talented, limitless Theresa, you will do great things. Just remember to keep wisdom at your side, God in your heart, and never forget your pocket handkerchief.
“That people may know skillful and godly Wisdom and instruction, discern and comprehend the words of understanding and insight,Receive instruction in wise dealing andthe discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity,That prudence may be given to the simple, and knowledge, discretion, and discernment to the youth–The wise also will hear and increase in learning, and the person of understanding will acquire skill and attain to sound counsel [so that he may be able to steer his course rightly]–[Prov. 9:9.]That people may understand a proverb and a figure of speech or an enigma with its interpretation, and the words of the wise and their dark sayings or riddles.The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline. [Ps. 111:10.]My son, hear the instruction of your father; reject not nor forsake the teaching of your mother.For they are a [victor’s] chaplet (garland) of grace upon your head and chains and pendants [of gold worn by kings] for your neck.My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. [Ps. 1:1; Eph. 5:11.]” ~ Proverbs 1:2-10 Amplified