Yesterday, I graduated highschool with a group of fellow homeschoolers and friends. I had the privilege of writing and giving the commencement speech in front of 600 or so people. It was terrifying, but God was moving in a big way and I never would change a thing.
Sharing my speech here today for my friends and family who did not get to hear me give it with almost perfect poise. You guys missed out, I rocked it.
I'm hoping to blog a lot more in the next few weeks. I'll be in a new city, with good people and a full heart and probably missing people at home. I'll have a lot of words to share. But for now, here's this.
Friends, family, my fellow graduates, today is a new page in the grand story of our lives. Today is a blessing, we’re alive, and awake, and this day is still so new and fresh and full of the potential for greatness. We’re here to celebrate, as if we needed a reminder of why, the newest group of fresh faced graduates ready to throw off our years of highschool and embrace adulthood without looking back.
We forget sometimes in the rush of preparation for this one day, that tomorrow we’re going to be the same people as we are right now. The same problems we faced yesterday are going to be waiting for us tomorrow, but instead of our mothers grading our math tests, it will be somebody else grading something in our own lives and isn’t hardly as nice as she is. That is sort terrifying to all of us here, I think.
We want to move on from yesterday, push anything that isn’t pretty under the rug and try again. There are so many things we want to step away from and sometimes we have this idea that tomorrow we’re going to change. We’re not. And while that is scary, today is also incredibly exciting, in a short while we, the graduates, are considered adults. We can buy those sugar frosted cereals our parents wouldn’t let us eat when we were kids and pay taxes. We have the chance to go out into the world, follow the yearnings we’ve had in our hearts our entire childhoods and the question is now; what do we do. What steps will we take to lead us to the place we want to be?
If we continue our story metaphor, we have all of these blank pages and no clue what is going to fill them and turn them into chapters. It’s pretty hard for a character to write their own story any way. All we know is past; bound and pressed, un-editable. We can’t cut things out or move words around, no matter how much we’d like to and that’s okay. The future is not in our hands. We have a friend, the bible says in Proverbs 18:24, who sticks closer than a brother. Which, judging from this homeschool crowd and our “unsocialized” ways of being close friends with our siblings, is very close. We are not drifting carelessly through this world without a place to stand. We have this solid rock of Jesus Christ who guides our paths and leads the way.
The past is frozen and still, the mistakes we have made are there and part of us. These mistakes are the reason we are who we are today. The future is scary, but Jesus Christ will never leave us nor forsake us. He knows who we’d become long before our existence on this earth. He leads us, and he has the map of every possible outcome of our lives. There has never been a mistake in his sight. It’s all according to his purpose and glory. We are who He has planned us to be.
So I exhort you today, brothers and sisters because of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we in this room would not only put him first, but that Christ would be everything to us. Our comfort, provider, our strength when we are weak, the rest when we can’t sleep. That the trials and tribulations of this life would be nothing because of the joy we that have in Him. That even the pleasures and good things of the world would pale because of the infinite, all-powerful Lord who lives.
I pray that we open our hearts and minds and spirits, friends, to a more excellent way. The straight and narrow path, overflowing with his bountiful love for us. We need not be afraid of the days ahead, his path is easy and his burden is light. There is nothing in this world that can keep Him away. Here’s a secret, folks: the book has already been written and it’s beautiful. It speaks of God’s massive love for us. From the very beginning when he formed us with his hands and gave us his own breath, until the very end where He reigns victorious. If we follow His steps, and let Him guide our lives, we will not have to worry about what’s filling these empty chapters of our little lives. God is in control and he will direct our paths.
So today, graduates, I want to remind you; as we’re here surrounded by loved ones, the people who have helped build our lives into who we are today. Let us remember that today does not mark the end of learning or growth. Every day we learn something, we’re making new experiences and each day brings more potential for becoming more like Christ. We are His body, His beloved bride. Remember the verses in Jeremiah 29:11-13, which says this so much better than I ever could.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Let us seek Him with all our heart, friends. No matter if you’re graduating today or here for one that is, God has always been in control, and His plan for our lives and His glory has never changed. It never will. While we’re celebrating this step in our own lives toward adulthood, let us also remember the work Christ is doing in his kingdom and how His love will never end. That is my prayer for everyone here, that we would yield to Jesus and that our faith would be trusting and pure. That we would never lose the childlike excitement for His Glory, not matter the circumstances we are placed in. He leads us, and guides us and we will never walk alone.
xoxo Johanna Grace