The Rough Ride to an Awesome Today

Gene, Katie, and myself at Katie’s graduation.

Katie graduated from college on Saturday! I teared up a couple of times. A few years ago I didn’t think this day would come. Seven years ago she was moving out and letting the door slam behind her. She did not want much to do with the family and she certainly did not want our input or involvement in her life.  College was on the backburner and later she dropped out. Her future looked dismal. Looking back she said she was stuck. I agree.

How did we get here—on her college graduation day, celebrating with her, involved in her life, and she loving that we are? It’s been a slow, painstaking process for all of us. Here are a few things Gene and I did that helped:


  • Kept our advice to ourselves until asked (it took years).
  • Encouraged her positive choices and successes.
  • Loved her through the harsh consequences of her poor decisions and life’s difficulties.
  • Knew what topics we could talk about with her.
  • Did not nag.
  • Accepted her where she was at any given time.
  • Helped her as she asked.

Please know we are still in process. I still hold my tongue when I want to say something I know is not my business. There are still topics we steer clear of. I know when Katie needs space and she endures my loud chomping of gum and my occasional rants.


Katie we are so proud of the young woman you are. We’re excited for your next season in graduate school!

Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

2 thoughts on “The Rough Ride to an Awesome Today

  1. Brenda, Congratulations! We have faced similar situations with our children and have found that keeping open communication and unconditional love has been instrumental in having a good relationship and being a part of their lives. Thanks for sharing!

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