When Your Daughter Graduates into Life

My daughter graduated from college Saturday. You might say, “Well people graduate from college all the time!”

This is true, but this is my daughter and I am particularly proud. She is a middle child like me and this is her moment in the spotlight.

I want to announce to all my friends how unbelievably amazing she is. She does not like it much when I compliment her, but she has approved me writing this, so as her dad I have some things to say.

It is an exciting day when your daughter graduates into life.

Let’s be clear that my other two children are amazing in their own right. I have written about my oldest daughter and I have a son who is a great conversation partner with me. However, right now the spotlight is on my daughter, Jordan.

My older daughter and son are both academic types. One is a religion major and the other a philosophy major. They both are also German majors. The complex demands of the German language fit their intellectual psyches.

My daughter, Jordan, is the creative child. She speaks Italian. Its beauty and tones and musicality fits her psyche. She loves books, too, but she would prefer they are poetry or fiction.

The most amazing thing about her is her vision. She sees light and perspective like I only can in my dreams. It is as if she inhabits a world of color, shape, and texture engaged in harmonic displays.

She sees a lump of clay and discovers the beautiful vase within in it.

She sees a board and carves a decorative box from it.

She sees a blank canvas and covers it with a landscape.

She sees things as they can be and I believe that to be one of the greatest gifts in all of life.

I work with college students in my role as dean of the School of Religion at Belmont University and all too often I find them pressured early on to chart their life course, get a job, and start planning their retirement.

I have told each of my children life is not a race and they do not get bonus points for finishing first. I encourage them to explore their interests.

My oldest daughter moved to Peru for almost three years after graduating. She begins graduate school this fall and she has a clearer vision for her life now than she did three years ago. Her sojourn in Peru was good for her.

What will Jordan do? None of us are sure, not even her. She might go to culinary school or she will find some kind of good work. This thing I know, though.

She will be creating. It is in her blood. It is the way she sees the world.

May all of our children have the freedom to find their place in the world and to live into their gifts. May all of our children graduate into a life that lets them make the world a better place.

Maybe one day on your mantle you will have a vase shaped by her vision, or a box carved by strength of her hands, or a painting from the horizon of her mind.

If you do, you will know the blessing of being her father and you will be able to hold a little beauty from her vision in your hands.




  • Julie

    Beautiful, Darrell! Congratulations, Jordan! May your journey be breathtaking and blessed!