Saturday, May 30, 2009

To Graduates: Swing Away!

My eldest, Katie, graduated from Anderson University a couple of weeks ago and is currently in Australia, living one of her life's dreams: feeding wallabies and holding koalas.

It's not hard for me to imagine Katie doing that; all I have to do is recall her in a plaid sundress feeding her stuffed animals with a pink plastic spoon about 19 years ago, and I can see it clearly.

For her graduation, I wrote Katie a letter, excerpted here, that I'd like to share with moms and graduates:

Author Marilyn Ferguson said, "It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear. It's like being between trapezes."

That's where you are right now, graduate, letting go of the bar behind you, anticipating that second swing to take you to your future. In this split second of your life, you're precariously suspended in air, hoping all the preparation you've done won't fail you when your big moment arrives.

Don't be afraid to grab the incoming bar and swing away! You're more capable than you know. When you're apprehensive, remember that the power of Christ is in you, giving you his wisdom, helping you accomplish his purpose in your life: "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" ( Philippians 2:13). When you surrender your life to Christ, the task ahead of you is never greater than the power in you (1 John 4:4b).

CS Lewis said, "We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."

Well, no one wants to see you "go bad!" I'm glad you're not in diapers or braces anymore, although I miss my little girl so much sometimes. But it's been fun watching you hatch into such a great young woman.

When you were small, I tried to save you every bump and bruise, believing that as long as you were an arm's length away, nothing could harm you. You didn't even go to the mailbox unwatched by my loving eye.

When you started driving and filling out college applications, I realized that from then on, you would be farther than my arm's reach and eye's sight for the rest of your life.

I was forced to recognize that not only was I not in control of every influence and circumstance around you, but that I never was. Moms only like to think we are in control, which is silly because the truth is that someone much greater and wiser is in control. As Emerson said, "All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."

And so I learned to let go of you bit by bit, which is what's supposed to happen in families. I let go of my own trapeze, believing that God would see both of us through to what lay ahead knowing, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion" (Philippians 1:6).

So congratulations to my beautiful graduate — to all graduates.

You were born to fly for His glory -- swing away!

Linda Crow, of Muncie, is the mother of three and works in youth ministry. Visit her blog at


Thanks for the thoughts.

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