I keep looking back and remembering...
the excitement of expecting you, our first child,
bringing you home from the hospital,
snuggling you close in our bed and nursing you in the dark of night,
all those firsts -- a smile, rolling over, crawling, walking, talking,
and the toddler years through the school years.
Those years slipped away each one sliding by faster than the last.
You filled them with blessings,
and gave us more than we've ever given you.
The joy and love and pride we feel when we look at you
is something money will never buy.
Now it is time to look forward.
We pray for you as you venture out on your own.
Your dad challenged you the other day.
He is a man of wisdom.
"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction..."
His prayer for you is much the same as Paul's prayer for Timothy, and I join him in that prayer.
"We thank God, whom we serve, as night and day we constantly remember you in our prayers.
When you are away we will long to see you.
We give thanks for your sincere faith that has been passed down to you by your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents.
We pray you will fan into flame the faith that is burning in your heart.
May you not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
(Taken from Paul's words in II Timothy 1.)
"Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit that lives in us." (II Timothy 1:14)
"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." (II Timothy 2:1)
"Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus." (II Timothy 2:3)
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." (II Timothy 2:15)
"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." (II Timothy 2 :23,24)
May you be able to at the end of your life say these words of Paul:
"I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." (II Timothy 4:7,8)
We love you, Ryan.
May God go with you!