Dear Graduate: an open letter to my senior

You are my first one, but still, I know what I want to say. Are you listening? These words matter.

You are going to meet hundreds of new people in the coming four years. Some of them won’t believe in you. Some will reject you and won’t understand you when you offer random movie quotes.

You’ll throw out an “I’m picking up on your sarcasm,” and they’ll respond with blank stares or a side glanced mumble of, “sarcasm?” 
Your shoulders will want to go droopy, but don’t let them. You don’t need those other people to be complete. You be Tommy Boy and Richard all by yourself, and end the whole conversation with, “well I should hope so. I’m laying it on rather thick.” 

Always remember that you are my past, present, and my future. You are everyone’s future. The whole world is waiting for you. These next four years aren’t meant to find yourself. God knows exactly where you are. 
If you haven’t heard who you are, ask Jesus. Not a soul at your college knows who you are. This is your pen. Your paper. Refuse to hand those over.
And then remember what your mama told you. Remember how beautiful your daddy thinks you are. 
Because, little girl, there will be days like this. Days like this. Mama said there’ll be days like this. 
Days when you spend half an hour getting your rooster hairs to lie flat and you’ll walk out to drizzle that only fills up your super cute Rainboots. 
Days when you turn in a term paper and your professor appears to have missed the memo that says you’re a great writer. That C will feel like a burn, but you just remember who your Nanie says you are and how your little brother looks up to you as his greatest gift. Why else would he always try to put his armpit in your face? 

There will be temptations you have so far faced head on. There will be new ones, too. When you stand firmly before them deciding, you just remember who plants your feet and where he has promised to take you. 
College isn’t a season to get out of the way or merely explore. It isn’t a means to an end. This is your time to learn and grow and dig your roots in deep. In this time remember how your sister looks up to you, even though you are shorter than her. Height means nothing when you fill shoes the way you do. You’ve always been a great example.
This is a time to become the most audacious you we have seen yet. High school graduation may feel like an end to a lifetime, but, Graduate, you have been created for such a time as this. You are my Esther and my David and my Mary and my Joshua all rolled into one. 
When you’re scared, you remember whose wings you are under. When you’re hungry, don’t forget what sustains you. When you’re thirsty, drink from the well that won’t run dry. 
There’s no age you should be waiting to become. Be unbelievable right now. Stand up for those who can’t stand on their own. Let your little light shine in the darkest spaces. Always remember there’s nothing you can’t do. Some adults may even tell you that dream is too big. What they mean is THEY are scared. 
Philippians 4:13 because, sweetheart, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. 
And because nobody puts Baby in the corner. 

Don’t ever forget it.