Posted on May 10, 2018
Bible Teacher Ruth Smith was honored for her upcoming retirement in chapel this week with a rosebush and posters given by the sixth-grade class. Below is her thank you letter to the group. What words of wisdom that carry out the mission of planting seeds of Christlikeness here at FPDS.
Dear Sixth Grade Boys and Girls,
I cannot begin to tell you how touched I was on Wednesday when you gave me the four posters with all of your names written on it. And the kind words—of course, brought tears to my eyes.
Twenty-two years ago when the doctor told me I had cancer, I chose a Bible verse that I would claim as my own. That verse, Jeremiah 29:11, has meant so much to me. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Just the very fact that our great God allowed me to be cured and to continue to teach here at First Pres is almost incomprehensible to me. And yet, it proves that verse—that God had a wonderful plan for me. I got to teach each one of you! What a joy and a blessing you have been to me.
I claim that very verse for each one of you as you graduate from this special place. You will go to new schools, meet new friends, (be sure to keep your old ones—they are gold!), and begin a new journey on your pathway to becoming the person that God intends you to be.
Here, you have received an excellent education, been surrounded by teachers who love and care for you, and have been “somewhat” sheltered from the world.
BUT, most importantly, you have received a foundation based on the Bible—God’s Holy Word. That will get you down any path you choose. There will be times when you are very happy, there will be times of sadness, and maybe even times of depression. Rejoice and give thanks for the happy times. Lean on the Rock, Your Savior, when you walk through the deep waters of the sad and bitter times. He has promised to walk with you, and I can tell you from personal experience that He will never leave you. You can trust Him always.
I love each one of you, and I rejoice in the fact that God permitted me (as part of His great plan for my life) to be able to teach you about Him. What a blessing! I shall be eternally grateful for my 39 wonderful years at The Day School. No one could have had a better “job.” I always looked forward to coming to school, and I always got butterflies in my tummy on the first day in August. I will miss this place, but I look forward to the rest of God’s plans for me as I retire from 49 years of teaching children.
That beautiful rosebush will be a constant reminder of my time here and of you. Thank you so much!
Love and Blessings,