My name is Bethany. I am a member of the class of 2014 at Parkview High School, Springfield, Missouri. This is my story, so far…
Mom & Dad to Bethany:
“Bethany, thank you for trusting us as your parents. We’ve walked through some tough, dark days with you and it’s through these times as parents that trust can be built and broken. The value you place on building trust is evident in your respect for us as your parents. We are very proud of you!”
My parents have taught me that in life, it’s important to be myself and keep a firm grip on what I believe in. I have already learned that in life, there will be those who want to bring me down. I remember facing hard moments between my eighth grade and freshman year when transferring between schools; my peers would just keep pushing and pushing to try and tear me down but in my heart I could hear my parents saying, “Don’t let them get to you Bethany, your going to be fine, stay strong.” Words are powerful, that encouragement stayed with me and carried me through those tough moments.
I have two younger sisters and I’ve learned so much in the role of “big sister”. Like it or not, I have had the responsibility of setting the example and being the role model. I have to look out for them, I have no choice. I’ve made mistakes, but as “the oldest” I can hope and pray that I am not the only one who will learn from my mistakes. I have this incredible opportunity to connect with my sisters in a unique way. I’m building trust in my relationships with both of them that will last for years to come. I love the girl talks! I am honored that God has chosen to give ME the chance to teach my sisters what I have learned through my experiences of life so far.
I gave my heart to Jesus one Sunday morning during children’s church. I remember just looking around at all the bright colors and the other kids messing around with their shoes or the carpet, anything they could get their hands on. But then my attention was captured by the voice of my pastor. I remember sitting there listening to the story of Jesus in wonder and awe. After the lesson I told my pastor that I wanted to give my heart to Jesus. Jesus was real to me from that moment on. But there was a time in my life that I struggled to trust Him and I lost my focus on Him. As a teen, I was at a church summer camp and all I remember was just being in at the alter crying my eyes out as I heard my savior call me back to Himself. I said “yes” to Him, again, and this wave of peace and strength came over me, it was literally something that I had never felt before in my life. After that moment, I remember sitting there in awe, worshiping my King, my Groom, and I have never been the same again.
Mom & Dad to Bethany: “We are not only grateful for the decision you made to say “yes” to Jesus, but the decisions you’ve made day in and day out since that day to walk with Jesus. He will never leave you. He will be with you always, on the good days and on the bad days, always!”
I love the Church because honestly it is just fun! The people are so encouraging, I get to meet new people every week and I get to hear the word of God and worship Him! I mean what better place is there to be?! I love being so involved in the Church as well because I get to know others on a personal level. I have met some of my closest friends just by being involved in the Church. It just makes me happy to walk in and see everyone and get to learn more about what God has planned for me!
Mom & Dad to Bethany: “Every day you are an example of Philippians 2:12 as you are working out your salvation. We are so blessed to watch you grow and learn and lead others in your walk with Christ. Delight fills our hearts as we know that the amazing daughter we have raised is well on her way to impacting the world for Jesus. We love you!”