Reposting part of a mama’s open letter to her college-bound son.

Sasha Bell via Getty Images (and Huffington Post)

I’m polishing your shoes, slow and sacred and silently brimming, trying to buff out all the creases of the last 18 years and there’s no changing it: I got a lot of things wrong, son…. You and I both know how I should have bit my tongue more, prayed more, and what on earth kept me from smiling more?

I wished we’d read more Charlie Brown books together and laughed loud on the floor. I should have gone slower. Every time you saw me, a smile is what you should have seen first…

By His grace and a few thousand miracles, there was good and smiles can swim through tears. Remember how we read a million library books together? I’ll never regret every page we chose over screens.

We ate three meals a day together at a table (and don’t think that doesn’t change the shape of a soul and the world). And we never pushed back our chairs until we’d had our dessert of Scripture. Life is about one thing: Coming to His table and inviting as many as you can to come with you and feast on the only Living Food. We gave you this.

And for better or worse, your Dad and I taught you how to work hard. Make it for the world’s better, son.

And don’t live safe. How many times have I thought safe mattered when Jesus died to save us not to make us safe. No one ever got saved unless someone else was unsafe…

Know before go, son, before you go to school, before you head out into the world:

The Bible’s true, son. Every infallible, sword-sharp, breathing word of it. Don’t let anyone ever rationalize one beautiful iota of it away. Love it because it’s your Life.

And the only life worth living is the scandalous one: scandalous love, offensive mercy, foolish faith. Kiss babies. Always have one friend that feels on the fringe, that you have to pray to love, that makes the neighbors scratch their heads.

Stubbornly pray for your enemies till you see enemies are illusions and everyone is a friend and grace. Believe in every woman’s God-sized dreams. And rub her feet at the end of the day.

Be the kind of person who apologizes first because that’s the only way happiness can last.

And never forget that happiness is when His Word and your walk are in harmony. Never stop keeping company with Christ– and all the sinners, tax-collectors and cast-offs. Be an evangelist and use your words with your hands because your part of a Body and never stop loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, and loving others as yourself. Make that your creed…

Be different and know everything you do matters… God didn’t put people in your path mostly for your convenience; He put you there for theirs. Loving the poor will make you rich, I promise.

The only life worth living is the one lost.

And no matter how loud and crazy and broken the world is, child? Let joy live loud in your soul.

Believe that you are His beloved – it’s only when you trust that He loves you that you really begin to live…

Sing to no one and everyone on the front porch in the rain and laugh so much they question your sanity. Pet the dog long.

Because really, none of us knows how long we have. Remember that a pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed right over. A whole life can be lost in minutes wasted… in the small moments missed. None of this here is forever grace. That’s why it’s amazing grace.

Do it often: grab a lifeline by stepping offline. You’ll see your true self when you look for your reflection in the eyes of souls not the glare of screens.

This is what you always need to know: You have nothing to prove to anyone – if you’re in Him, you are already approved.

About Jennie Joy

I'm a lover and truth-seeker. This blog is a place for me to share my thoughts, struggles, and sincere searchings as I get to know God and welcome the reality of His kingdom in and through me.

3 responses »

  1. Aunt Valerie says:

    That was really good, girl! And, yes, I cried as I was reading it. ❤ Thanks for sharing that with us today. Many good truths! We love you. 😀

  2. Shirley foxbethard says:

    Good to hear from you, Jennie Joy…Blessings.

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