This young lady graduates from high school soon. This last week, my husband and I were privileged to attend senior night at youth group and speak words of blessing over her. Our words follow.
How blessed it is to be your mom. From the moment I knew you were coming, I looked forward with excited anticipation to meeting you. I remember holding you in the hospital and wondering what your personality would be like, what special talents God would give you, and how God would use you? As the answers came I was not disappointed, but pleasantly surprised.
Watching you grow and develop into all that God has for you has been exciting and a huge blessing. We don’t yet know what your future will hold, but the next several years will be pivotal for you as you seek to hear from God about which forks in the road to take. This time will be exciting and challenging, but hold onto Jesus and he will guide your steps.
Jessica Annalise, our blessed and gracious promise, you have lived up to the meaning of your name. You have been a great blessing to us, for there is no greater joy for us as Christian parents than to see you develop your own relationship with Christ not because we told you it was the best way, but because you fell in love with Jesus and have a passion for the things of God.
The depth of my love for you is immense. I’m not sure you will truly grasp how strong it is until you hold your own firstborn in your arms. It’s a love like no other.
We have raised you in the love and admonition of the Lord, and we have worked to create a healthier and less dysfunctional childhood for you than we had. We have not been perfect, but just as your name says, you’ve been gracious and forgiving when we’ve fallen short.
Your life is about to change as you leave childhood behind and enter the adult world. I am confident that you are prepared and ready to tackle the future with confidence in whose you are. Our role as your parents will change and we will serve less as authority figures and more as respected advisors. Together we will navigate these unfamiliar waters with the help of God’s word and the Holy Spirit.
I am proud of you Annalise. You have truly fulfilled 1 Peter 3: 3. Your beauty radiates from a gentle and quiet spirit and you are precious in God’s sight.
Tonight, I stand beside your father in unity as he blesses you, passing on a godly heritage. He has loved you and poured into you on a regular basis even when he’s had to face some very difficult giants of his own. He is full of godly wisdom and has an important role in your life. You will do well to consider his advice as you make your way through this time of transition into adulthood.
I love you sweet girl.
It is my great privilege to be your father. You and your sister are pearls in my world – beautiful pearls like it says in Mathew.
I greatly appreciate that Jeremiah had this evening in mind but I also am fully convinced that God in His providence ordained this matter.
Blessing you is no trifling matter to me. It is in fact a matter of great importance. In my own earthly father’s ignorance of the scriptures, he cursed me as a teenager. The effect on me was quite devastating and long lasting. Personal demons have plagued me to this very day. My desire for you is the exact opposite and I do not take this matter lightly.
I am very, very proud of you, Annalise – both for who you are and for what you have done. You have become a wonderful young woman. I am fully convinced that as you continue to seek and love the Lord with all of your heart He will lead you and guide you into the great adventure He has for you in this life.
You must be diligent to study the scriptures daily so that you will renew your mind, know what God’s will is for you, and be able to discern the truth from error.
Please remember and take to heart God’s warning to avoid getting unequally yoked. Let Genesis 24 be your charge regarding boys. Settle it in your heart to serve your heavenly father and let him bring the right boy along at the right time.
If for any reason at all you turn away from God and raise your children outside of your faith then you will put a curse on them. The curses are long lasting and devastating – so don’t allow that to happen. I know you won’t.
When you suffer do the following things: 1. Pray 2. Ask God what he wants to tell you through the suffering. 2. Embrace the practice of reflection 3. Learn the role of struggle in your life.
Annalise, your faith is very precious to your mother and I. Do not take it for granted. Your faith has been handed down to you at a high cost by your mother and I and by the ultimate price by your Savior. Treat it as the ultimate treasure that it is.
The Lord loves you Annalise and He will cause you to know that He indeed loves you.
JESSICA ANNALISE HUNNICUTT
The Lord bless you
The Lord keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’
And so the Lord has put His name upon you, Annalise.