A Graduation Reflection ... about our son.

Micah Steven,

I love this photo of you.
It depicts your physical strength, your playful personality, and your gentle and sometimes serious spirit, yet your facial expression makes it seem as though you could burst into laughter in a moment. And that is who you are! Who you have always been.
You were a sweet, affectionate, playful child ... easy to correct, quick to repent ... 
eager to please and quick to console, with a desire to encourage.
You have always been competitive, intense, passionate, and verbose.
Though these attributes have morphed as you matured in stature and grew in Christ, it is clear that you were who God created you to be from the moment you drew breath on this earth.
And Micah ... who you are is a BEAUTIFUL image of the One who made you, 
for you are exactly the young man He wants you to be!
And He will use ALL of who you are - strengths and weaknesses - for His purposes and His glory, for your good, if you remain fully yielded to Him. Day by day. Year after year.

The last six years of your educational studies proved difficult, to say the least.
You had to fight against yourself to complete every writing assignment, every math lesson, every science experiment, and every research project.
You fought every day.
And last night, you saw the fruit of your fortitude and faithfulness when your father handed you your high school diploma. Tangible evidence that you completed the work that was set before you.
Tangible evidence showing that even when aspects of life are arduous and seemingly impossible,
we can endure - overcome - and succeed when we do so with the Lord's strength and not our own.

In junior high, you picked up a guitar and a set of drumsticks, and your life was never the same.
For the first time, you felt confident - and competent.
Music has been your "safe place."
The only place you did not struggle. The only place you knew you were good at something.
And the Lord used that place of safety to hone your natural talent, provide an escape from discontentment and depression, and open your eyes to the truth that intelligence, talent, and skill have many faces - including playing music and writing songs.
Whether He uses your musical talent for a career or for a personal place of peace, I pray He will be at the center of every song, every lyric, and every performance, for it is He who blessed you with this outlet, so He must receive all the glory for its use.

You are a wonderful young man, Micah Steven.
And that is exactly what your dad and I have raised you to be - a MAN.
Men are independent. Strong. Self-aware. Leaders. Providers. 
And as a believer, kind, compassionate, patient, long-suffering, and forgiving must be added to the list.
You are not your own, Micah.
You were bought with a price by an amazing and powerful God who called you according to His purpose and will complete the work HE BEGAN in you the day you surrendered your life to Him.
You can gain the praise and acceptance of the whole world,
but it will profit you nothing if the cost is your soul. 
Seek Him first.
Seek Him often.
Seek Him most.
Because, Micah, there is no one who will ever love you as much as your God.
Love Him above all else - above everyone else - and you will live under the beauty of His blessing.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word. Psalm 119:9

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

I love you, Micah.
Though I am not a fearful woman, there are fleeting moments when I think of life without you, and my heart explodes from imagined sorrow. In the song you wrote for me and dad, the line "though I go around the world never to be seen again" made me cry out, "Lord! Protect my son!" The reality of that thought is too much to bear. And yet, the moment I called on Him, He quieted my heart with the reminder, "He does not belong to you, daughter. He is Mine. And I know what is best for My own."
And, once again, I surrendered you to His sovereign plan.

I love you with all of my heart, and that love requires entrusting you to the One who created you and called you, and I pray I will be a mother who joyfully releases you to the independence of adulthood and rejoices with you as you make your plans - while letting the Lord direct your steps.

♥You always have been, and always will be, one of my greatest joys.♥

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