So today – we celebrated my son graduating from high school – he officially graduates on Tuesday to receive his diploma and wear his cap and gown – but since it is only a formality at this point in time – to us it is a ‘done deal’. And so we celebrate.
I remember my own graduation from high school. I was the emotional one in my high school class – and not too excited about leaving high school – I was happy there and very involved with the music program – Concertones and Jazz Choir and also pretty involved in drama. I had friends and a former boyfriend I knew I would never see again once high school was over and was not anxious for that thought. Some of my ‘guy friends’ bought me a box of kleenex as a joke and I found it in the music room with a note ‘for Cindy’ written on it as our class was lining up to take our ‘walk’ as graduates. The year was 1979 – and the day was not much
different from today was. Sunny and mostly warm – no rain and that meant we could have the ceremony out on our football field. Our choir sang – I cried all the way through it – as we sang “Notes from Paul”. I remember going to the “Top of the Inn” with my boyfriend and both our families after graduation. The relationship I had with that guy didn’t last much past high school – but it was a special if not emotional day for me – I do remember that.
So much has changed – and now my ‘baby’ is graduating. I don’t feel too much different from the way I felt 31 years ago this month. It’s funny – when you’re graduating from high school – you feel so old and mature. You don’t realize it is just the beginning of your life in so many ways. Still so much growing up to do – so many things to experience – so much of life still to come. I’m not sure what things are coming their way for my son – but if he’s anything like me – he will learn it mostly through life experience and not so much what people tell him. He will make his own reflections some day – and perhaps become a musician and a writer like me – and look back on the day he graduated as a stepping stone to another place – and a new beginning for him.
Life changes so much for us from the time we’re 18 to when we’re parents and then onward to midlife. Our perspective changes as life ‘happens’ to us – and sometimes the things we believed and held so tightly to – slip away from us. And sometimes we find out things that we didn’t believe – are suddenly thrust upon us. Sometimes life is gentle and kind – sometimes it is not. We encounter those who make life better and easier for us – and those that hinder us and make life difficult. It is through all of these experiences that we learn as each is something new and unique to our separate ‘journey’ through life. We find that not everyone can go with us on some of that ‘journey’. Sometimes we need to find the strength to take step toward our future – on our own – with no one beside us except the Lord Jesus Himself. And if we let Him lead and guide us through that path ahead of us – we find we’re never really alone. It is those times that shape our character and help us make it through the tough times of pain, conflict and heartache that is ahead of us. There is also deep joy in trusting your life to your creator – and know that He holds you and won’t let you go. And that nothing will be too hard to encounter with His help and guidance to make it through. It is a wonderful thing to discover what your God-given talents and gifts are – and then to be able to use them to the best of their ability. There is no greater joy than to find what you were designed to do – find someone who loves you for you – and to love them back – no matter what storms may come into your path. To experience the love and grace of the Lord through those storms – and those victories – the deepest valleys and the highest mountains of your existence – the good and the bad – the ugly and the beautiful – and to feel safe – ah….the greatest feeling in the world.
Here is wishing you and yours a wonderful season of love and great reflections.