A valedictorian’s graduation speech is going viral after she used the opportunity to tell her senior class about the Gospel.
Lydia Owens is the valedictorian for the class of 2023 at Woodmont High School in Greenville, South Carolina. In her three-minute speech, Owens, the daughter of a pastor, spoke about how the hardships of her life led her to re-evaluate what was really important to her.
“If you place your identity in what you accomplish, and you believe that you are only good enough if you succeed, what happens when you fail?”, she asked her classmates. “Placing your identity in the things of this world will disappoint you because they are only temporary.”
Owens then went on to explain how she learned this lesson in her own life when her mother died just under two years ago.
“I had that reality check almost two years ago when my mom passed away,” she said. “When tragedy struck my life, it wasn’t my grades nor my accomplishments that helped me navigate through that loss. When everything else in my life felt uncertain, the only person that I could depend on to stay the same was Jesus.”
At the mention of Jesus, the crowd began to applaud, showing that they fully understood and appreciated the message she was trying to convey.
Owens continued by saying that the experience of losing her mother taught her that true worth and happiness are found not in worldly success, but in the fact that we are loved by God.
“My worth and your worth is found in Jesus because He is the only one who will ever satisfy us,” she said, which once again resulted in a round of applause from the audience.
Lydia Owens recently delivered a speech at the Woodmont High School graduation ceremony, where she was recognized as the school’s Valedictorian and Senior Class President. Lydia is the daughter of our Executive Pastor, Brian Owens. So it might not surprise you that she mentioned… pic.twitter.com/MISArwjjPn
— Wayne Bray (@waynebray) June 1, 2023
Owens’s speech went viral on social media afterward, with many applauding her for being brave and proclaiming the Gospel to her classmates, while some took heart in the fact that her speech was so well received.
Courageous young lady. May God raise more just like her that will stand up for Jesus. Thanks for the encouragement.
— Wayne Sibrava (@waynesibrava) June 1, 2023
Bold leaders like her is what gives me hope for this world! Well done!
— JD Nelson (@jdavidnelson) June 1, 2023
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.
— Mike West (@MIkeWest88) June 2, 2023
Too often we hear stereotypical and cliched graduation speeches about going out and chasing your dreams, and how the graduates have such a bright future ahead of them. But we hardly hear about the harsh realities and trials of life that we will all have to face and how we can deal with them.
That is what makes this speech so refreshing. Lydia Owens reminded her class that they will face challenges in life, and they will fail, but the anecdote to that is to remember that our value and worth come from one thing — Christ.
This graduation speech will hopefully give the graduating seniors a new outlook on life as they head off to face the future.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.