As parents we were made to write a message to our son Joshua, who is attending his first retreat. It was to be in a sealed envelope to be opened and read aloud by Josh in one session of the retreat. This is what we wrote:
March 11, 2010
Our Dearest Joshua.
If God were to ask us to name a gift, besides our Lord Jesus Christ, that we are most thankful for, it is God’s gift of bringing you to our lives.
We have become so happy a thousand times over because God gave you to us, Josh.
So we take this opportunity to tell you, that we are eternally thankful that you are our son.
You are God’s blessing to us, your papa and mama.
As your parents, we recognize our role is striving to make you the best that you can be.
We want you to know that as your parents, we will provide you the basic tools for you to succeed in life.
Your teachers too, are there to guide you, to give you the needed instruments to achieve God’s purpose for you.
Eventually, you will be the one to make good use of these tools as you follow God’s instructions.
To us you are like a young carpenter who would one day build a house.
As parents will will just provide you with tools like hammer, saw, chisel, etc.
We, your parents and your teachers, will try to teach you how to use these tools.
But ultimately, it will be you who will build the house.
We hope you will make good use of these tools, learn to use it the right way, so you will build a beautiful house.
We wish to tell you that for us, your success will be measured on how faithful you will be in following the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Success isn't fame, nor fortune. It is not professional titles attained, nor public accolades received.
Success is much more than that.
So our prayer is that each day, you strive to become a better Christian.
It is hard, because many times, you will make mistakes.
We all do.
But it is ok.
Treat these mistakes as a chance to correct your wrongs.
Always do good to your classmates, to your friends, your teachers. Do good to those who will need your help, even those you haven't met.
By doing good, you are following God’s desires.
By doing good, you will make God happy.
You will make us happy.
Don’t forget to thank the Lord for all the blessings that He has given you.
Thank Him everyday when you wake up each morning.
Once again, we say thank you, son, for being who you are.
May God continue to shower you with bountiful blessings.
We love you very much, Josh.
Papa and Mama
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