This week marks a significant time in the life of my family. My youngest son graduates from high school, as well as finishing his first year of college. As I think back over the past 18 years, I wonder where the time has gone. It seems like just yesterday, we were giving him numerous nicknames (Fred, Rudy, Brown Sugar.. to name a few). Now, it's just Sam. No longer Sammy. Just Sam. It really does pass quickly. I must say I am very proud of him. He is a good person. He loves God, his family and his girlfriend. He never disappoints me, and the choices he makes have always made me proud.
As I think back to when I was 18 years old, I remember the carefree feeling of knowing it all. Little did I know that I did not. So with that in mind, I thought I would offer some words of wisdom to Sam, and any other 18 year old getting ready to step into their future.
1. When you are older, you will look back and see that few friends from your teenage years are still around. Probably only one or two, if any. Choose your friends wisely.
2. When dating, only date people who share your same values. I promise you one day you will care.
3. Always be willing to take a chance on yourself. Be confident and don't second guess your instinct.
4. Talk to your parents at least once a day. One day they will not be there.
5. Your siblings are the greatest gift your parents gave you. Cherish them and talk with them. If you ever need something or someone in a moment of crisis, you will call one of your siblings. I promise.
6. Purity in your relationship is essential. It is a gift that one day you will give to your spouse. Don't give it away. It is too important. Once it is gone, you can never get it back.
7. It's never to late to try something new. You are never to old to start over.
8. Be confident, even when your don't feel like you are. Acting confident will build confidence.
9. No matter what, you can always call home. I will be here for your regardless of the circumstance. My love is unconditional.
10. Finally, and most importantly, seek God and keep him first. Pray daily, read your Bible, and trust in the one who created you.
Take chances. Do what you feel like you can't do. Step out of your comfort zone and believe in yourself. You are worth it! You are not perfect, so please don't try to be.