From an old guy (your uncle) to you, one of my favorite young men:

Your dad told me he was going to be taking you away for your father/son rite of passage weekend. He asked me to write a letter to you. I have been thinking long and hard about what I could tell you that would encourage and perhaps stick with you. A few simple but significant thoughts came to mind and are what I want you to know and have stuck with me in my “man years.”

First, you are unique, one-of-a-kind.

There has never been, is not now, nor ever will be anyone exactly like you. God chose to make you for this particular time and place in history. Just think about that for a minute. I mean really think about it, let it sink in, and come back to that thought regularly.

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With that uniqueness also comes a big responsibility. That responsibility is to ALWAYS be you, because no one else will ever be able to. There are things that only you are able to bring to this life. That might sound simple but it definitely is NOT. There are so many pressures from others to fit in or go along with the group. People will try to make you fit into their molds of who they want you to be or what they want you to do. Stay true to yourself.

Second, you have what it takes to succeed in life.

God has given you all of the mental and physical abilities that you will need. Your parents have raised and trained you well. It has been special to watch you grow up over the years and to see you now on the verge of your teenage years and becoming a young man. If you are ever discouraged and wonder if you are going to “make it,” do not forget this. Let me repeat it again: you have what it takes!

Finally, you are a beloved son of God.

He loves you more than you can fully comprehend. One of the verses in the Bible that often comes to mind when I think about God’s love for each of us individually is this one:

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17).

He loves you so much that He rejoices over you with singing! Because He loves you so and He is good, all will be well. Life will be hard at times, sometimes extremely hard, physically, mentally and/or emotionally. But in the end, all will be well.

Trust God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength and He will never let you down!

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I have enjoyed seeing you grow up, spending time with you on fishing weekends, and at your new home. In fact, I wish I lived next door so I could see first-hand all the adventures you are going to have.

All my very best to you.

I love you,

Uncle A

Allen Goetz

Allen Goetz is a husband to one and a dad to four mostly grown-up kids.  He is passionate about Jesus, chopping wood, the spiritual and emotional growth of men, helping the poor, and Pittsburgh sports teams. He is found often on his bedroom floor doing downward dog, in his office making sense of financial spreadsheets, or sitting at his dining room table mentoring engaged couples with his wife of 30 years who is known as the Dolly Mama around the internet.