Class of 2023

by | May 24, 2023 | Life's Journey | 3 comments

As Jake’s graduation nears, I am inundated with all of the “feels” and so many questions.

Is he ready? Did we do a good job as parents? What will his future hold? Will he survive? What’s his life going to look like? Will he be happy and content? What’s his purpose? How will he handle the good, bad and ugly of life? And, the questions go on and on and on.

The fact is that ready or not, Jake is onto the next step of life and, for the most part, on his own.

I can only hope and pray that Lee and I have prepared and equipped him to live a life pleasing to God because I know deep in my heart that this is where true joy comes from. Of course, I’d also like for him to be able to feed himself and pay his bills!!! 🙂

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. Proverbs 29:17

I am certain that as parents (who, by the way, did not have a Jake Hays’ Life Guidebook), we have done some things right, many things wrong and have definitely forgotten to teach a few things along the way.

One of those things I’m pretty sure I could have taught Jake better is how to clean a room. I know this for a fact since I helped clean his bedroom this past Saturday and wondered how my sweet boy could be so nasty?!?!?! Gross!!! I apologize in advance to all future roommates and to his future wife.

On the flip side, I know that we had little to do with Jake’s compassionate heart and his capacity to love others well. He sheds a light that can only come from God because it burns brighter than anyone else I’ve ever known and makes others happy just to be around him.

Regardless of the extent of our parenting skills or lack thereof, I remind myself often that God loves my baby even more than I do and will never leave, nor forsake him.

Jake’s journey will be safe and sound because he is God’s child. The obstacles, grief, love and joy that Jake will certainly face will be endured courageously because of the Lord’s peace and comfort.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Even though Lee and I will continue to have influence in Jake’s life, the bulk of “raising” him is over. Therefore, it is now Jake’s responsibility to take his past and create a future he wants, become the human he wants to be and leave a legacy that he is proud of.

We know that his future is bright because he has been such a brilliant light of joy throughout his 18 years even in the midst of struggle. Between being allergic to all things outside, asthma, dysgraphia and kyphosis; Jake has always risen above his circumstances and persevered with the heart of a warrior.

I pray that he will give us grace and forgiveness as he realizes we had no clue what we were doing as parents and have messed up on a regular basis.

As Jake looks back on his childhood, my hope is that he remembers most that he was loved beyond measure by two parents who did the best they could and are proud of the man he has become.

It’s amazing to me how fast the years have passed. I feel like it was just yesterday that we followed the bus to school for kindergarten.  However, I have many precious memories and am hopeful for many more in the future.

I ask that you pray for Jake as he steps into this new stage of life and that he follows God’s leading so that he can make a difference in the world, live with passion and fulfill his purpose.

Congrats to ALL of the graduates of 2023!

Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.


  1. Heidi

    It does go by so fast!!! Can’t believe we are here! I think however that Jake has a light and loves so much because he has you and Lee! Love you!!!

    • Aunt Heather

      I have no doubt, Jake is going to do great in his coming adventures. God has always shined through that sweet young man. I can’t wait to see where God takes him!!

      Love you Jakey!!! 😘

  2. Gail Buckley

    Loved it! They do grow quickly, but you still have many years ahead to “Mother”! You and Lee have done your best, now, sit back and watch him continue to grow into a young man! He will always need you and Lee, never forget that!! You have some fun years ahead, they will be different, but equally exciting and interesting!! Just wait until you become a grandmother! Some of my best years, yet!!!


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