Guest post today from a graduating senior, the 2010 Co-Valedictorian at Hampton (VA) Christian High School, her speech to the parents during Baccalaureate.

Thinking back on of all of the times we have let you down, it would be no surprise if we were at this service alone, yet, you are still here – shedding tears as we take this next step in our life, encouraging us to excel and move forward.

It is because of God’s grace working through you, though, that we are here. Your sacrifices, faithful prayers, and patience gave us stepping stones to reach our goals. When we made wrong turns and bad decisions, you were right beside us, lifting up our heads, and lending a shoulder to cry on, if need be. You saw us as who we were to become and did not limit it us to just what could be seen on the outside.

You have invested in us – financially, emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually – in every way that one can pour themselves into another person, you have devoted yourself to us. You knew from the start that we would not be able to return in the same measure the love that you have for us, yet your compassion for us still runs deep, surpassing time, age, and wrongdoings.

Thank you for guiding us and training us and shaping us in the way that we should go. Your seeds of encouragement have been planted and have already begun to grow. Thank you for your consistent faithfulness to us. You have been key players in our revelation of the love of our heavenly Father. Through you, He has given us a taste of His love for us. And through us, He has shown you a fraction of His remarkable love for you. In everything He does, He has a plan and His purposes never fail.

As we close this door and open another, we want to thank you for your sacrifices, discipline, and love. These roses are a symbol of our gratitude and love for you. Your prayers and presence in our lives have changed us. Thank you.

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