Anyone who has ever watched a child grow up right before their very eyes will totally get what I’m writing. Anyone who has ever heard someone say years ago “before you know it that child will be all grown up”, you now understand. Anyone that is about to watch their son or daughter walk across that graduation stage you will totally relate to the words you’re about to read.
Dear Son, I’m trying so hard not to cry. But, I’ve got a feeling that soon the tears are going to just start rolling. As your high school graduation gets closer I’m finding that you’re constantly on my mind. Maybe it was seeing those graduation invitations be mailed. Maybe it was looking through all those pictures of you as a baby that I’m convinced were taken yesterday. Maybe it’s simply the fact that I totally realize you’re about to spread your wings and leave home.
Ok, I totally lied. Forget trying not to cry because the tears are now rolling. Trust me these aren’t tears of disappointment. Daddy could not be any prouder of the young man you’ve become. Your character, heart, and achievements make daddy look like a much greater father than I really am. Yes, I’ve tried my very best to be the man you needed in your life. But, some things in life can only be credited to our Heavenly Father who is always good, great, and faithful.
You were my first of four boys. When you came along your mother and I were still figuring out adulthood ourselves. Your mom was only 22 and I was only 24. We had only been married two years when God blessed us with you. It did take us a little while to name you since two ultrasounds led our doctor to believe you were a girl. Then, you were born and surprised the whole world.
I literally had to take pictures out into in the crazy waiting room crowd to prove that you were a whopping 9lb 10oz boy. Just so you know, your original name was Ansley Breanna Crosby. We already had a cute little dress with that name embroidered on it. Then, you threw us a curve ball. We had to return nearly 75 girl gifts we had received from baby showers. Thank God back then Walmart took back just about anything!
After being totally surprised that day we knew we needed to call you something other than “Baby Boy.” God led us to call you “Matthew” which means “Gift From God.” Boy have you lived up to that name everyday of your life. You’ve brought us so much joy since the day you were born as that unexpected boy. But, now you’re about to graduate from high school, head to the University of South Carolina, and whether I like it not, leave home. Yes, I knew we were raising you to know how to live without us, but I never imagined it would be this hard on my heart. Here are a few things I pray you never forget:
One, God has amazing plans for your life. You weren’t born by accident, but God has laid out purpose for the rest of your earthly life. I pray you settle for nothing less than God’s best for your life. Wherever God leads I will always fully support. Whatever you do I will always believe in the God who I know lives within you. I’m so excited to see all God is going to do both in and through you as you seek His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Two, God is always with you. You might recall a framed letter daddy gave you a few years ago. It says, “Daddy will always love you. Daddy will always be proud of you. But, Daddy can’t always promise to be there for you.” As much as I will always strive to be super dad I can’t match your Super Heavenly Father. Only He can promise and prove to always be there for you and to never leave you. Even when all of life has changed and you’re not sure what to do next. Never doubt, that God is always there, still has a plan, and will never leave your side.
Three, God has everything worked out in detail. From the college you will attend, the roommate you will have, to the degrees you will receive. From the person you are meant to marry, the career you are meant to pursue, to the place you will start your young family. I have discovered over the years that all I’ve got to do is keep putting my little hand in His big hand and let Him lead the way. Never doubt that God has it all figured out. You don’t have to create your plans. You need to keep getting down on your knees and seeking wholeheartedly His plans.
Well, I’m sure I’ll cry some more in days to come. I’m sure my heart won’t easily let go. But, you can bet that every tear that falls is only because I love you more than you can ever dream or imagine. And, one day I hope you get the joy of writing a letter to your son because he has brought you such joy. I love you Matthew Aaron Crosby. Love, Daddy.