First, you need to read this with a little “Needtobreath” on your playlist. Since music has been so important to our family, I somehow associate their music to you. Possibly because it’s fun, beautiful and bold!
“The years go by like stones on the rushing water, we only know when it’s gone.” (Needtobreathe).
It didn’t seem that long ago, when we put you on that yellow school bus to send you off to your first day of kindergarten. As that school bus drove away to school, I stood at the curb and had the ugly cry. After I stood there crying, I drove to school with your dad in tow to make sure you arrived safely. Dad knew you would be fine, but my heart didn’t want to let you go. Some things never change.
Now, thirteen years later, we see this amazing, outstanding, confident, bold and precious woman standing in front of us waiting to face the world with the confidence of a warrior princess. (Sorry about the cheesy analogy, but I am reminiscing of all your heroes, like the Powerpuff Girls, Princess Leia, and Queen Esther).
Julia, we are so proud of you for so many reasons. First, for all the “A’s” and that you made honor role over and over and over again. Sorry we stopped paying you for the “A’s” but we were going broke. I promise, we will make up for it by helping you pay for college. Ok…and by the way, we are proud of you for getting that great scholarship at SPU, and that you are also receiving your AA degree from college too. And yes, we thank you for saving us thousands and thousands of dollars for college!!!!
Second, we are proud of the many theatre performances that you rocked at. It all started in preschool as you stood on the stage picking your nose in, “The Wizard of Oz. ” We should have known that you would sell out to every performance after our four year old was first introduced to the stage as a Munchkin. Seriously though, we are so proud of you and how you simply came to life on the stage with “Hairspray” and “Lord of the Flies.” Ok…you were the scary villain in both of these shows, but you sold out, and we loved watching you work that stage. You always looked so beautiful, even as you played the villain roles.
We are proud of the late nights you stayed up to do homework when you didn’t want to.
We are proud of you for the times you had to talk to your teachers to convince them to let you make up homework for the crazy travels. You valued the gift we gave you. From Indonesia, Africa, India, Europe to Peru, you had to work hard to make up the times we took you out of school. You valued the gift of travel!
Thank you for living through the craziness of our life. Thank you for catching the passion and vision for the world, for God’s Kingdom, for seeing the greater good, for getting it, for caring for the poor, for loving the lost, the poor, the oppressed, the orphan. Thank you for loving Remya, for being inspired by Mother Theresa, for hating and loving India and all it had to offer, including the curry. Thank you for fighting through the after affects of trips like canker sores and the lice. Yes lice! You were a trooper.
Thank you for loving your sisters too. Thank you for standing up for Grace and stepping in the gap as Grace’s defender. Thank you for not letting anyone bully her and scarring all the bullies away. Thank you for being both Grace and Isabel’s hero too. Thank you for watching out for both of them, and walking up to those boys who gave your little sisters a bad time. Thank you for being so loyal and dedicated by coming to all their performances no matter how busy you were. You are such a good person.
Thank you for inspiring your mama. You showed your mama what that outstanding, over the top, confident, amazing, teenager could look like. Yes, you did challenge your mama sometimes, but you always came around. You challenged your father too, but you helped your dad see his own weaknesses and you showed us what grace looks like. You also showed your dad what he should have and could have been in high school. Thank you for showing us what a teenager living out their faith can look like.
Most of all, we are so proud of you for that, for how you lived out your faith in a public high school setting. We were afraid back on that day we first put you on that yellow school bus. But now, when we see how you turned out, we can see we made the right choice. When we hear your friends from school talk about you, we are so proud. You became a solid rock for them. You became a voice of truth. You became love. You became a safe place to entrust secrets. You became grace, and did not judge. Sometimes you became a sharp sword, and you showed your friends what confession looks like. You became everything we could have hoped. All our expectations were exceeded.
Julia, we hope you know how proud we are, and through tears, these words have been written. (While listening to Needtobreathe).
So as the song goes, here are some words we want you to remember.
“Even when the rain falls, even when the flood starts rising, even when the storm comes, I am washed by the water. Even when the earth crumbles under my feet, even when ones I love turn around and crucify me, I am won’t never ever let you down, I won’t fall, I won’t fall, I won’t fall as long as your around me.” Needtobreathe.
We love you,
Mom and Dad
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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