September 25, 2017
You are a senior. In High School. Like a real senior. Not a pretend one. Not the little boy who just started school yesterday. Can you believe we are here? It’s one of those times in life that you can’t help but look back on all of the years leading up to this milestone. Remembering all of your first days of school and how each year that passed seemed like we would have forever. Any it’s not to say that this is the end. It’s actually just the beginning of such a wonderful journey you are on. That we have been on. That our family has been on. That this time is another chapter in your story and how proud I am of you and how much I have LOVED being a part of each and every page.
With the turn of each new page you are becoming an independent young man. One that is growing and learning and finding your footing. It’s a joy being your mom. Even on the difficult days. Dad and I talk late at night about how much we admire who you are as a person. How much we enjoy you. How fun you are. Not a perfect person, but a young man with integrity, dedication, heart, depth, compassion and the ability to persevere. You see Big Picture in many ways and that is a gift the Lord has given you.
You, my boy, are a world changer. You have been set apart by God to be a unique force for Good in HIS Kingdom. Not the kingdom of our own desires, but the one that gives all of the glory to God for He is good. He is in control and His perfect love for you will carry you when you will not be able to carry yourself.
He is for you. He has gone ahead of you. Every good thing comes from the Father’s hand. He knows how your story unfolds. He has written it perfectly. Even the hiccups. Even the setbacks. All opportunities for you to become all that He has laid out for you and called you to be.
And let’s not forget the adventures! Oh, how they await! You haven’t seen anything yet! Remember the ” things you deem dumb” things I say at night when I have something on my heart: I expect and accept every blessing you have for today, Lord. That is just another prayer I have for you. I also pray that God continues to captivate your heart and that you know His voice all the days of your life.
Striving is not what life is about. Being close to Jesus to hear His heartbeat and know His unconditional love for you is. His love for you does not change based on your performance. His love is constant and He loves you for who He is in you. God is not the American dream. Let God move and you will never have a need that He will not meet.
You will never be perfect. You will make a million mistakes. Learn from them and keep going 🙂 Help others who make similar mistakes as that is what a testimony is meant for. To bring hope and also to serve as a reminder to us that God is a faithful Father who redeems.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to see you struggle. But, I know that I am not called to fix everything for you. He is preparing you for greater, Jack. It’s painful to lose the parts of ourselves that we think we need, but being pruned is necessary for new fruit to emerge. I have seen you grow in enormous ways. In many ways it was incredibly difficult and in other ways it was incredibly sweet. I know you will continue to grow your senior year. All of the unknowns are not meant to trip you up. They are meant for you to have a greater Trust in God who knows the plan. Your word for the year is Trust…we both know that means you will have many opportunities for you to Trust Him or choose to be fearful. I pray you choose trust. And when you don’t because you are human…my prayer is that God draws you closer still and whispers truth to your heart.
You are such a gift to our family, Jack. Your heart is solid gold. Your laugh is infectious and you have a such a bright spirit that lights up a room. You put others’ feelings above your own and carry a calming presence with whomever you are with. I pray your giftings increase to further your calling and you never take them for granted. Take care of yourself as you are not meant to carry those feelings of others that you are so keenly aware of. Find out what you need in each season to find rest and do not ever feel guilty for taking care of your own heart first so it lines up with the Lords. I pray that you do not compare your giftings to others because God knows what He is doing 😉 Stand tall in what sets you apart and always keep your humbleness so others are sure to know that it is not you, but God that is shining within you.
When I say that do not mistake that I don’t want you to shine. I surely do. Shine bright, Jack. Just remember where the source of the light comes from.
Jack Patrick Braman…I love you. Dad loves you. Charlie loves you. We are incredibly excited to see what God has in store for you. Run after those dreams God has placed in your heart. This is just the beginning and it’s going to be such an amazing adventure with Jesus!!!!