Yes, it’s that time of year, graduation time. There are graduations from kindergarten all the way to college, and I think I know some of all ages. For example, the 8th graders at Collierville Middle are moving on to Collierville High; the Class of 2013 moving on to college; Josh O’Mura receiving his Master’s; and D. J. Stephens graduating from U of M. So many of our close friends we are so proud of this year. With this milestone in their lives, it brings so much excitement for the future of what they can accomplish. It’s like a fresh start.
But wait. So many say the first year is the hardest after you experience a death. The first holiday, first birthday, anniversaries of this and that. Not so for our family. The SECOND year will be the hardest. If you think we have experienced a hard year this year, when the first bell rings for the Class of 2014, my son’s truck will not be sitting in his parking spot. I don’t mean to be morbid or “debbie downer”, I just want you to realize that just because people hit one year markers, grieving doesn’t end. Grieving will never, ever end. It just takes on a different form.
I went to the CHS graduation last Saturday. There were so many people I was so proud to see walk across that stage ~ I just can’t name all of you! I’d be hung! I thought I would just squawl. But actually, there was such an element of peace to see the excitement on their face. I can’t count how many times we heard “We did it!” from the podium. Of course you did. Did you have doubts? What about the scripture that so many graduates claim AFTER graduation?
Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”
Why do students wait until after graduation? This scripture is for everyone. It is relevent for today. He knows every step we are going to make before we make it and he WANTS to give us an abundant future. I can’t wait to see what kind of future He has in store for some of the Class of 2013. So many are headed toward pre-med, engineering, vet school, and some just don’t know and that’s just fine!
Rest assured, our plans are not to wallow during the 2013-2014 class year. We fully intend to step up and be involved in as many activities and events as Trey would have been. It may feel odd at first and people may ask why, but on the day their senior walks across the stage, shakes hands with the administrator, moves their tassel, then tosses their hat, they will realize we are in our seats witnessing the Class of 2014 experience a year of memories without Trey. And just as the Class of 2013 goes, then will go the Class of 2014.
Class of 2013, you have an entire year ahead of you. Remember the hashtag began around the time Trey was sick – #liveliketrey We said no! #livelikejesus! Claim this scripture for your year –
Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
There will be two ways to handle your challenges. You can go about it as you did in the past and hope for better results, better grades, better friends, but knowing in your heart you will probably be back to where you started the first of the year. OR you can meet the year head on knowing your own limitations with the conviction that you serve a wonderful God who desires to walk with you every step.
You know I am a sap for lyrics to songs. When I hear this song, I think of Trey and I relate it to myself – that I – his own mother – wants to live like that and give it all I have. I know he did. In the waking hours he did. In the night hours when everyone should be sleeping and he couldn’t, he would be reading his bible and be ready to tell me what he read when I got up. Not everyone is Trey, but just to give all I have is what Jesus asks.
I have never lost my home, but material things or money does not replace the life of a child. I know, in my darkest moments, I would give anything to have Trey with us again. But I would not take him from the gain of his eternal home. That is a gift he was given by our God, a free gift, by Christ’s death on the cross. That is a debt I can never repay for my Trey. And praise God, I don’t have to do that.
This Sunday we will remember those who have passed away during the year at GBC and Trey will be included. We will also sing 10,000 Reasons. I will cry and remember how I held Trey on that last verse, but my prayer is to move forward and “give it all I have so that everything I do and say points to You.”