My baby sister graduated from high school a week ago. I’ve been thinking all this past week about the words I wrote to her in her graduation card. Because sometimes, in spite of myself, I think I have a few moments of real brilliance. (And that might have been one of those times?) But more so, because I need to hear those words myself. I want to take my own advice, and live in the truth of those words as well.
I found a card at Trader Joes (for a dollar, woo!) that was all kinds of perfect:
What was written inside went something like this:
Be Brave. Because the world is a scary place, both beautiful and terrifying, inspiring and heart-breaking. Remember, courage is not found in the absence of fear, but rather in the midst of it. Face life head-on. Join hands with others around you and take steps forward even when you are afraid. World-changing things happen when people refuse to capitulate to fear and the inertia it so often brings. Be brave.
Be Kind. The world is full of broken and hurting people. You can show kindness regardless of whether someone deserves it, and in doing so, can model grace as well. People will be unkind, mean, even cruel. Return love for hate; show love through your kindness. Be the hands, the feet, the life-giving words of Jesus to those you come into contact with. Be kind.
Be True. You may find yourself pulled in a myriad of different directions. There will be voices clambering for your time, for your beliefs, for your energy and passions. Explore, learn, discover, question, but through it all, stay true to your convictions. Listen for that still, small voice inside you that tells you what is right and true, and follow it, regardless of what anyone else may say. Be true.
Be You. Because who you are is a wonderful thing, little sister. You are a gift, wholly unique. Who you are is fearfully and wonderfully made. And while I hope you never stop learning and growing as a person, I hope even more that you can wholeheartedly believe and live in the truth that who you are, just as you are, is enough. Be you.
I love you so very, very much, Nina. I am unbelievably proud to be your sister. Happy Graduation.