This past weekend we celebrated a Rite of Passage with my second wonderful daughter Amy. We held a special Mentor Dinner on Friday night and a ceremony on Saturday. It was another amazing and momentous milestone in all of our lives. This process began 18 months ago at a luncheon for Amy and her eleven mentors. (you can read about that here) Many of you may not have been reading my blog that long ago so let me catch you up on the “what & why’s” of a Rite of Passage.
What is a Christian Rite of Passage?
It comes from Jewish roots – the Bat Mitzvah – meaning “daughter of the Commandment”. In the Jewish community, the Bat Mitzvah is a period of instructing the child in her faith and traditions, culminating in a ceremony that recognizes entrance into adulthood.
1 Corinthians 13:11 says “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put away childish things.” The Jewish Bat Mitzvah is a strong connecting point for the young woman between faith, traditions, family & the community.
There are four main goals of the Christian Rite of Passage for a young woman:
To provide instruction on what it means to be a godly woman.
- To create a point in time for the child to accept responsibility for her own spiritual growth. The child will enter into spiritual adulthood and we, as parents, move from being teachers to coaches.
- To establish mentoring relationships with adults – to teach, encourage and guide their child in their walk with Christ. They are the child’s accountability team.
- To extend a parental blessing
We were blessed to stay with Jim & Janet Weidmann several years ago in Colorado. They are the authors of the book – Spiritual Milestones: A guide to celebrating your children’s spiritual passages and at that time they were completing their daughter’s Rite of Passage. We were so inspired by them and by this concept and we knew that we would implement this as an important tradition in our family. I am so thankful that we have done just that as it is truly an awesome program with long lasting and life changing results for our children.
Amy has met for a month long session with each of her mentors going over the the following spiritual disciplines and topics – Prayer, The Word of God, Evangelism & Missions, Purity, Biblical World View, Outreach & Service, Godly Friendships, Christian Leadership, Marriage, Family & Children. Her mentors ranged in age from 19 (her sister Michelle) to 60+ and were both single and married. They were women who were hand picked because of their commitment to the Lord, strong faith, different gifts and personalities and desire to be an influence in Amy’s life.
The culmination of her time with her mentors came this weekend as we gathered together just with Amy and these amazing women for a Mentor Dinner on Friday night. Each of her mentors quizzed her in the subject they met with her on and then their was opportunity for all to share wisdom and insight. It was truly an incredible night of fellowship, inspiration and challenge for us all.
On Saturday night we hold a very important and special ceremony. We hold it at the chapel in our church and send out invitations to our family and friends. It is a “dress up” affair and Amy looked beautiful in her formal dress.
The evening program is as follows:
Welcome – Dan got up and shares the purpose of the Rite of Passage and thanks everyone for sharing in this special time together
Prayer – The next eldest daughter – Kristen – opens in prayer
Worship – We had an inspirational time of worship led by our church worship leader – it was heavenly!
Introduction of Mentors – Amy introduced all her mentors and shared how she knew them & what topic they had discussed
Mentors Affirmation & Prayer – This is the most touching and meaningful parts of the service as each of her mentors got up & encouraged, exhorted and spoke words of affirmation about dear Amy. They then prayed a blessing over her. Many tears were shed at this point by both the mentors, Amy, her Dad and me as well as many in the audience.
Parents Blessing – Dan and I each got up and gave a formal blessing over Amy. I love this part as I believe that the Lord will truly honor the blessing we each gave her. Here is my blessing —
Amy, I bless you with………….
A heart that always seeks after & loves the Lord your God
Joy and a positive spirit
Wisdom to make good choices throughout your life
Physical strength, energy, health & a long life
Moral courage to always do the right thing
Great leadership & incredible influence over & favor with those you lead
Humility & servant hood
A close circle of faithful Christian friend
A Godly husband who is your friend, beloved & partner in ministry
Many Children….Gods gift to us & our future legacy
A ministry that will affect the lives of others for all eternity!
Amy’s Confession of Faith – Amy gave a wonderful message and boldly proclaimed her faith in the Lord and her commitment to serve Him throughout her life.
Video Presentation – A video of her life from birth to now – lots of laughter, smiles and tears during this presentation
Gift & Closing Prayer – We choose to give our child a special gift of a cross pendant that will always remind them of this milestone in their lives.
The evening ends with a celebration & dessert reception for everyone. Here are the pictures from Amy’s Rite of Passage.
I can not encourage you enough to do a Rite of Passage or something purposeful like this with your children. If they are still young you have plenty of time to plan and prepare. If they are already teens or perhaps even about to graduate from high school – you can still pull off something for them signifying their entry into spiritual adulthood and giving them adult mentors who will be there to give instruction, wisdom and accountability. It is so worth the time, effort and energy you will put into it.
With the next daughter, Kristen just 17 months younger than Amy, we will be starting anotherRite of Passage in just a couple months. (and Rebekah is just right after her…whew!) And yes at times it seems hard and overwhelming. And no it doesn’t always go smoothly (ALL day last Friday I was at the hospital with my six year old who was getting fluids from IV’s after a week of very high fevers & vomiting – I had the mentors all coming over at 6:30pm for dinner and when I finally arrived home from Kaiser at 4pm – I gave up my perfectionist bent and had the dinner catered and got the house “clean enough”). And yes….it is WORTH it all!
If you have made it this far in this lengthy post – then you might want to read Amy’s speech from Saturday night (which she wrote by herself, from her heart and delivered it very well!)
Right of Passage Declaration!
To start off I would like to thank all of you here for coming.
Each one of you here have been individually invited because at some time in my life you have made an impact on me, so I want to thank you for that and for coming and supporting me with this.
Being mentored by these women of God has meant so much to me. I have really enjoyed getting to know each of them better. They have supported me a lot these past eighteen months and the only illustration I can think to explain it is this; I have seen it as me dribbling a soccer ball down the field with the goal in front of me, and these ladies are behind me as my defenders. They are pushing me and encouraging me to go forward to my goal, and when I lose control they are right there to kick the ball right back to me and put me right back on track toward my goal again.
I would like to share with you three things that I have learned:
The first was about being hungry for the Word. My whole life I have heard that you need to be hungry for God’s Word. So I would get up every morning and read the bible, but occasionally I would miss a day and then I would go through the entire day feeling guilty for not reading the bible. Then I would have a test and fail it and think, oh man…. if only I had read my Bible, when really I should have studied the night before. I would think the whole day that God was mad at me and punishing me for not reading the Word. But really He’s not mad at me at all. Think about it this way, if you miss a meal during the day you don’t go through the entire day feeling guilty that you didn’t eat! You go through the day yearning to get home and eat something. I learned that I need to start doing that with the Word.
The second thing I learned was about defeating the devil with the word. In Matthew chapter four it talks about Jesus being tempted by the devil three times and each time Jesus quotes scripture to him and eventually the devil flees and leaves Him alone. I learned that I need to do that when the devil starts tempting me, which means I need to know the Word to do that.
I also learned the importance of forgiving others. God says that we need to be continually forgiving one another. My mentors taught me that when I do something wrong God forgives me but I also need to forgive myself. I’d like to tell you a story about one of my friends who taught me to forgive no matter what! My friend had done something in her past that was wrong but some of her friends and people around her wouldn’t forgive her for it. One night we were talking before she had to leave for college and I told her that I would really miss her when she left, she told me that she would miss me too, but honestly she couldn’t wait to leave and go where were no one knew what she had done. Hearing her say that just broke my heart! The people who would not forgive her were Christians and we are commanded to forgive. Ever since she told me that I have made it my personal goal to try and forgive everyone. This can be hard for me because I like holding grudges and getting revenge!
One of my teachers told me once that what we do today effects what we do tomorrow and what we do tomorrow effects what we do the next day. What I have done these past eighteen months with my mentors will effect my next eighteen months and my next eighteen months will effect my next years. And no matter where I go I will always remember what these ladies have taught me.
And now I would like to say:
I’m ready now! I’m ready for when the day of evil come so that I can stand against the devils schemes. I’m armed with the belt of truth buckled around my waist, with the breast plate of righteousness in place, my feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, I take up the shield of faith with which I can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one, I have the helmet of salvation placed upon my head, and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. I declare Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior; I am His servant, ready now and willing to do whatever my Lord asks of me!
7 responses to “Amy’s Rite of Passage”
This sounds a lot like “Confirmation” in the Lutheran tradition. I am mentoring a confirmand this year and it is truly an enriching experience! Best wishes and blessings to Amy and all of your family.
Thank you for posting this in all its glorious detail. In the Asatru faith we have what’s called a man-making or woman-making for teenagers, usually around age 16. Traditionally, after his man-making a young man was expected to be able to take up arms to protect his household and village from animals/intruders and to begin an apprenticeship. After woman-making a young woman was considered marriageable and able to run a household. Of course, times are very different now and various families all have slightly different ideas for requirements prior to man/woman-making and expectations for afterward. My husband and I have talked about it some, and your example gives us some additional ideas to consider.
Best of luck to Amy as she embarks on the adventure of adulthood!
Amy is a sweet wonderful lovely talented girl!!!!!
I love her very much
What a lovely commentary and photos. I wish I could have celebrated with you.
I believe the Rite of Passage is a beautiful ceremony, one that your children will remember always. Just having all the family, friends, mentors there to show how much they are loved, does so much to a young adult. Knowing that not only God, but all these people too, are counting on her to make the right choices in life. Also when crossroads come in life, they have so many people who can counsel them to make the best decision. . You are doing such a wonderful job to raise your precious children Beth (&Dan ). May God bless you also with strenghth, wisdom and the courage needed to raise up Godly children in this dark world.
Not having been able to attend (I felt left out) I now have read it all and cried and felt like I was a mouse in the back. Having been to Michelle’s and read this recap, now I am blessed, impressed and amazed at all the wonderful events the Lambdins continually have to celebrate and blessings in lives. So contrasted to what I have seen – it is awesome what the Lord inspires.
I too am impressed with Miss Amy and what her declaration reveals she has learned and will carry with her. That adult support system is priceless and the confidence it will inspire in her to reach her goals.
Thanks for sharing all these wonderful details. May others be blessed to do something similar as a result. Many youth would be blessed and encouraged to stay the course with faith and obedience and therefore BLESSINGS!
Thank you so so much for this. My husband and I are half way through our Rites year with our son, and I have been struggling with how to set up the actual ceremony. By the Grace of God This article gave me exactly what I needed to begin planning our actual ceremony. Thanks again