an open letter to my niece, upon her high school graduation

rachel, it’s amazing to realize that you’re graduating from high school. i have very rarely met a young woman with so much drive and personal discipline. i am confident that god will use you to impact the world.

i have a sense that you could have gotten into any college or university you wanted to attend. and i think you could succeed wildly in a wide variety of careers. so that reality that you’ve chosen to pursue youth ministry is an amazing thing. so many who pursue youth ministry, unfortunately, do so because they think it will be “fun”, or because they’re not sure what else to do (and know that they enjoyed their own youth ministry experience). but you could do anything, and you have the brilliance and discipline to make it happen. we need more people like you in youth ministry.

you’re in a very unique place, being a female evangelical pursuing youth ministry, and being a white suburban young adult sensing a calling to urban youth work. you know there will be plenty who will try to limit you – because of your gender or theology or background. but i know you will face that opposition with a strong sense of resolve and a twinkle in your eye. i want to encourage you to remember that your calling comes from god, and that other peoples’ opinions of what you can or can’t do should not distract or discourage you. the trick — for which you will need a healthy dose of grace and patience from god — will be to follow your calling while not dismissing or dismantling the naysayers. confidence blended with compassion and grace is a powerful mix, and with christ in you, is a well you’ll need to draw from.

north park university is such a great fit for you, and i’m stoked about how you’ll be challenged and stretched there.

it makes this youth ministry uncle’s heart very proud to have a third family member pursue vocational youth ministry (yo, zack!). but i know you’re going to do this in your own way, and that totally rocks.

i’ll look forward with great anticipation to talking about your courses and what you’re learning. and i can’t wait to see how you join up with the work of the kingdom in the world of youth ministry. i love you, and i’ll be praying for you.

3 thoughts on “an open letter to my niece, upon her high school graduation”

  1. Hey North Park U. is my old neighborhood – literally! My dad taught at the Sem there some and my bro-in-law went there and met his wife there and they live just a couple blocks from the campus now. Good school!

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