A Valedictory Speech From A Good Shepherd Student

Just this week, Good Shepherd’s very own Amber Carter was named the Valedictorian of Renaissance School Of Olympic High.  

Amber has literally grown up in our church, preached for me last November, and this week is serving as a leader in our Vacation Bible Experience.

For her speech, Amber was cautioned not to be too overt regarding her faith.  I think the subtlety made it even more powerful.  Here is the text of her address and a video of her delivery is at the bottom of this post:

Hey class of 2014!  My name is Amber Carter

            It’s so strange to think that we are finally done, but we are.  We have come so far, yet we still have so far to go.  We have learned so much over the last eighteen years, but we have been fed certain lies as well.  We’ve been told that in order to be successful we need to have a good job that makes us lots of money.  We’ve been told that it is better to be smart, be pretty, be liked, we’ve been told to fit ourselves into a mold so that we can be “successful”.  I want to tell you, that none of that matters, and none of that is true.  We are so much more than the dollar amount in our checking account, we are more than a test grade, more than what we see in the mirror, and so much more than what people think of us.  In my life the truth of who I am has been whispered subtly and shouted abruptly.  The truth that there is one who loves me; one who guides me away from the path of this world, away from the evil deep inside each of us.  We are each loved with a love beyond comprehension, beyond condition.  Our success does not come from a paycheck or a popularity contest, but from our own realization of the truth.  The truth that we can use our lives to glorify another.  We can be the people who give food to the homeless, tip more than 15%, and smile at random strangers.  Class of 2014, you are loved, so be loved.  Live your life by reflecting that love onto everyone you meet, and then you will be truly “successful”.