My dear friend, Rachel Atterholt, graduated from High School and I was honored to be asked by her parents to say a few words at her Graduation Party. I just thought I’d share them here:
I want to start by saying Congratulations on Graduating from High School and getting your GED! That’s one of the first milestones of life with many more to come! You stand at the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood with adventures, battles, sufferings, and great joy ahead of you.
One of your favorite quotes is the well-known line from Robert Frost: I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood an I – I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.
So, what do I say as a woman with a few more milestones under her belt, to you a woman about to face them? What do I say about the ‘road less traveled’?
Here’s the advice I wished I had heard…or in reality, what I wished I listened to:
The true road less traveled, and more important than any career, friends, dreams, aspirations, life goals or your family is your church. All around you the world is screaming to at you to pursue happiness, pursue your dreams, live life, get out there and be a roaring woman.
What you need to do is invest yourself in your church. Look, listen, pay attention, and figure out how you can serve your body. Value the preaching of the Word. Make this your life’s priority and you will be on the narrow, less traveled road.
This is more important than a boyfriend, romance, true love, getting married, having kids, your sisters and your parents. Your church is your first thing. Not second. Not third. First.
After that and only after that comes everything else.
This is the best advice I can give you as you graduate from high school and face adulthood.
Your favorite Bible verse is, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.
You have faced trials already—health issues, relationship issues, life issues—and, I hate to tell you, you will face many more. Life here on earth is a constant battle, constant hand-to-hand combat between our remaining sin, the sinful world, and following Christ. But God, who is rich in mercy, is working all things for our good. Each trial, each bit of stress, each battle is working to make us more like Christ. More battles are coming in your life. Cling to Christ and his word.
Rachel, I’m privileged and honored to be your friend, to read your writing, to share movies and music with you! More than that, I’m thankful to watch you seek the Lord, attend church regularly, host teas, help in the kitchen, and be involved.
I hope and pray that as you end one stage of your life and sort through what you want the next stage to be that you’ll be a faithful church member, feed on the preaching of the word, and grow in wisdom and grace.