Thankfully the weather cooperated for the evening:
Here is our letter to Kezia:
I can hardly believe that we have arrived at this part of your life so soon. I can remember the day that you arrived, 5 weeks ahead of your due date, and the worry that I had wondering if you would be healthy, wondering how you would do in the ICU away from me, and wondering when we would be able to take you home. It appears that not much has changed in the last 18 years as I still worry about your health as you work late into the nights balancing a challenging course load and working at your job. I still worry about what you will do away from me as you begin to spread your wings into new experiences, like the mission trip to Mexico, the Encounters trip to Ottawa, and your upcoming time this fall as you travel and spend time in three continents. Instead of wondering when we could take you home now I wonder what journey in your life will take you away from home forever.
Kezia-You have lived by the motto that the phrase "good enough is neither good nor enough". This motto, which became your standard for everything, is what you have applied to all areas of your life; whether it being your studies at school, your job, your various serving positions at the Church, your babysitting, and even your Christian walk. Proverbs 22:6 reads, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Kezia, as much as your Mother and I have tried to raise you up in the way you should go, I can honestly say that the decisions you are making, along with your motto, has encouraged me in my Christian walk too. This standard that you have adopted will be something that you can take with you to college this fall which will help deepen your faith in God, allow you to encourage others, and I know that God will be able to use you in ways that today are unfathomable.
One of the verses I like to memorize with my Grade 1 friends is:
Proverbs 19:20 "Get all the advice and instruction you can so that you will be wise the rest of your life". I think this verse is so applicable to this time in your life. I see you doing this already and I would encourage you to continue to seek out advice and instruction so that wisdom can follow. I'm thankful for the strong circle of godly friends, your youth leaders, your teachers, and so many others that desire to give you good advice and instruction. I am especially thankful for the people who contributed to your birthday book when you turned 13 because I know you have made wise choices from the advice that you were given.
I remember when you were in Grade 5 and one of your assignments was to take a song and study it and explain the lyrics to the class. We were surprised when you chose a Christian song to share even though almost everyone in your class had never even heard of Casting Crowns. You were brave and boldly shared the song with your class even though Mom and I were both a bit nervous that maybe it wasn't the best choice. Thankfully, you were confident in your choice and we just stood back and admired your conviction.
I've said this before but I want to say it again. Kezia, your faith in God is admirable. To me. To your Dad. To your siblings. To everyone around you. I remember that when Miss Mattes was your student teacher in Grade 1 and told me that she could tell that you were from a Christian home because of your actions in the classroom. Again, not much has changed you are still bolding living in a way that others can tell that you follow God. You bravely set out to do things that few people even twice your age would not even attempt. To write a Biblical based essay AND complete a project connecting the bible to evolution in your grade 12 year when marks count for so much??? To go ahead with the topic even when your teacher declares that it would not be his first choice of topic. Few people would be willing to take the chance to get a bad grade. (I know I would not have). It is hard to stand up for what you believe in. You do it well. I am so proud of you. Keep being you.
Proverbs 4:25-27 says:
Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.
I can tell that you will not get sidetracked or settle for less than what you are looking for because of what you have already shown in your life. My prayer is that you will continue to walk the path, looking to God's guidance in your life. However, always remember that YOUR plan might not be what God has planned, a lesson that I have been taught again and again. Proverbs 16:9 says "We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps".
As you close this high school chapter of your life and begin the new one that follows, know how proud we are of you and how glad we are to be your parents.
Love, Mom and Dad