Cursory: Lydia Owens, a brilliant young lady has taken a rather unconventional but welcome route in her valedictorian speech at Woodmont High School in Piedmont, South Carolina. Lydia spoke about her faith in God and the true meaning of success to her. Her tenacity and bravery despite facing some painful events in her life has earned her praises from family, friends and even strangers.
When did you realize that life and worldly achievements is vanity and pouring into your soul and spirituality is a much better way to achieve what you want, which is true success. For a young woman who emerged as a high school valedictorian, it was when she lost her mum.
Lydia Owens, valedictorian of Woodmont High School in Piedmont, South Carolina, surprised everyone when she veered of the familiar pattern of valedictorian speeches and shared the gospel instead. Owens “clearly communicated that Jesus alone determines value, defines success, provides real satisfaction, and gives us hope when everything around us falls apart,” shared Pastor Wayne Bray.
She did not speak on how everyone should push themselves to and beyond breaking point to gain success, rather she emphasizes on how believing in God wholeheartedly opens up the door to success for us “She unashamedly made much of her Savior.”
Despite going through rough patches in life, she held unto her faith strongly and never wavers.
“Yes, tragedy struck Lydia’s life, and its impact was great. But she is a living example that God’s grace is greater!”
As a pastor’s kid, it may not be a surprise that Owens included Jesus in her speech, but “this young lady took it to the next level,” shared Bray.
Owens began her speech by addressing the crowd and welcoming them. She then went on to confess her own temptations with perfectionism and a high focus on achievements.
But, the valedictorian proclaimed, “You are so much more than how well you perform.”
She shares that being a perfectionist never got her complete feeling of fulfillment, until she understood that placing or calculating ones value by worldly possessions and achievements was not the way to go, instead putting faith in God and understanding that his grace is sufficient for us will bring that true fulfillment.
Because, what if you don’t achieve your dreams fast enough or at all or what if life happens and you loose that which you think is the most or one of the most valuable things in your life, without God’s grace in your life imagine how empty you will feel.
“If you place your identity in what you accomplish, and you believe you are only good enough if you succeed, what happens when you fail?” Owens proposed in her speech.
“What happens when you don’t have a lot of money or you don’t have a lot of friends?”
Owens continued, “Placing your identity in the things of this world will disappoint you, because they are only temporary.”
“I had that reality check almost two years ago when my mom passed away,” she shared.
“When tragedy struck my life, it was not my grades or my accomplishments that helped me navigate through that loss.”
The valedictorian spoke of the hope she had experienced, saying, “When everything else in my life felt uncertain the only person that I could depend on to stay the same was Jesus.”
“My perspective of success drastically changed, because I realized the many years I spent placing my worth in my academics meant absolutely nothing in eternity.”
“Speaking from my experience, constantly striving to be perfect has never satisfied me,” she said. “But what does satisfy me is knowing that my worth is not found in my successes or my failures.”
“My worth—and your worth—is found in Jesus because he is the only one who will ever satisfy us.”
Owens said.“No matter what your future holds, please remember that life is so much more than how successful you are. Even if you accomplish all of your dreams or none of them at all, you are still valuable and still good enough, because you are made in the image of God,”
Owens concluded, “You don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll be successful because God promises that his grace is sufficient for us and his power is made perfect in our weakness.”
Her speech gained a round of applause from the crowd and also positive comments from the comments section of the tweeter page that shared her speech.
See reactions below:
@MIkeWest88: I’m not only impressed and moved by this young lady, but I am also heartened by the response of her classmates and the audience.
@fitchen: I was in attendance & was blown away at her boldness in truth. I was admittedly surprised, but also thrilled she was permitted to have all of it in her speech. When she started talking about however you define success will leave you empty, I thought – go girl. Overheard: “preach”
@waynesibrava: Courageous young lady. May God raise more just like her that will stand up for Jesus. Thanks for the encouragement.
@Kerisuper7: Well said Lydia!!! So proud of her for standing on truth boldly and sharing it with others!! ♥️
@jdavidnelson: Bold leaders like her is what gives me hope for this world! Well done!
@HeyCavalear: Love seeing stories like this!! There’s still hope for our society still!!
@JudsonIStone: Love your tribute.
@KeithGreer42: Great speech!
@azar_siham: God bless you
@wetesnik: Amen and amen…
@dougsss53: Go girl.
@JillSta37113599: May God increase her tribe!
@BobbyLGauthier: This is awesome! Way to go, Lydia!
@ThomasDiPasqua7: Beautiful!! She spoke Truth!!!
Source: church leaders
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