Looking through some old saved documents for something fresh to post, I ran across this letter that Sarah wrote to our son Zach on the eve of his departure from home for college waaaaaaay back in 2000.  I’m glad she preserved this piece.  This letter illustrates the point that there’s no sentiment on Earth as powerful as a mother’s care and concern for her own.  The maternal instinct is surely God’s gift to all of us children who would not have done so well, left to our own devices! 

Dear Zach,

Your time has arrived so quickly.  I knew it was coming–I just didn’t expect it so soon.  What happened to your childhood?  Who fast-forwarded the years? It seems just a short time ago that your Papa and I excitedly prepared a bedroom for you and spent our last few dollars on baby furniture.  I’ve never known a prouder moment than when I first held you in my arms, only minutes old.  How I did love you! And so did everyone else; for you have always been a darling boy.

Today you leave home and I am full of colorful, warm memories:  your first proud steps, potty training and bedwetting, your first day of school, your first Bible, the day you made your profession of faith in our Lord Jesus, the day you were baptized my Brother in Christ, your broken leg and black eye, baseball and football games, your first girlfriend, Homecomings, the Prom, youth camps, and mission trips.

In the past eighteen years, we have tried to teach you a few basics:  to know without a doubt that you are greatly loved and of great value, to love God, to reverence life, and all things, to laugh at your own mistakes, not to judge others (for we are generally doing the best we know under the circumstances), the dignity of hard work, to be proud of your family and your Louisiana heritage, and to conduct yourself as a Christian gentleman.

Although we’ve approached being your parents as a full-time profession, we’ve made a number of mistakes, for which we apologize.  The times we failed you in no way reflect a lack of devotion to you.  Like you, we have been maturing over the past few years, too.  Some things we would do differently today.  How well you forgive us for our mistakes will say as much about what you think of yourself as what you think of us.

And now, as you prepare to leave, inside the house will be a quiet bedroom.  Last spring’s Prom photo will sit on the bedside table; a dried Homecoming flower hangs from the bulletin board; outside the house is a packed car.  What was in the room is now in the car.

When I say I love you today, I hope that somehow you can hear with your heart the rest of the words that are going through my mind.  Words that told you how special you are to us, words that would let you know how rich your Papa and I have been because you came into our lives, words that tell you how much we believe in you, hope for you, pray for you, and thank God for you.

Although we’d like to keep things as they are forever, we know that’s impossible.  We could never keep you by calling a halt to your progress.  You have promises to keep.

The things we want to save, Jesus said, must be let go, and the things we hold most tightly will be strangled in the end.  We know that love releases the loved.  We know the training is over, the last bell has rung, the class is dismissed, and the application has begun.  There’s no time to  teach new truths, there’s no time to instill values or lay foundations.

There’s only one word that can be said:


                  Remember who loves you.  Remember what matters.  Remember what is right and wrong.  Remember!




August 13, 2000


(Proverbs 3:6 and Proverbs 16:3)