A Valentine to My Parents

The red envelope was addressed to “Dr. Lisa LaGeorge,” the “Dr.” encircled by a heart, the tell-tale sign that my mother was the sender. The Valentine’s Day card was painstakingly corrected with White-out, the singular pronouns edited to plural.

Dear Dad and Mom,

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for your love over the last half century. While I’m not sure that any of us expected me to still be single at this point in my life, your love, instruction, and example have helped me live a life touched by God’s grace.

You never spoke of marriage as if it was guaranteed. You were kind to the young men I dragged home. “Have an artichoke. You need groceries?” You pointed out their good sides and their foibles, but you never pushed me to make choices that might have fulfilled your hopes for me outside of what God wanted for me–or them.

You helped me to love the Church. Those pews at 7pm on Sunday nights were hard, but that’s where I learned to sing old timey hymns when I didn’t feel like it, and serve when I was tired, and find family when days seemed lonely.

You sacrificed time and money to immerse me in the Scriptures–Awana, Bible Camp, Bible Memory Association, Montrose Bible Conference, that trip to Israel when I was 10, Bible College. . .I learned that Bible was God’s communication to instruct me about His mission, salvation, discipline, love, wrath. . .It is the story of real people worked out on a real stage in real time. The Bible tells me who Jesus is and what He is like–it comforts me day by day and tells me of

You introduced me to single missionary heroes who loved Jesus. Most of their names are forgotten by now, but their lives, their faithfulness, their resolve are burned into my heart.

You encouraged me to travel for the sake of the Gospel, even if it seemed I would be in certain physical danger. The 20-year-old-me overheard you tell someone that if I was safest being where the Lord would have me–even if it was in a war zone.

You have prayed unceasingly for me and for my friends.

You have given me the gift of following the Lord wherever that took me–even if that meant decades on the other side of the country.

You reminded me that faithfulness to Christ as a single was better than a marriage to someone who doesn’t love Jesus.

You are proud of me, and while I am often a little embarrassed by your friends saying, “We have heard so much about you,” I am grateful to have you in my cheering section!

I love you!


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