As a high school college advisor, for the past five years I’ve watched each class of seniors work hard to reach the finish line, and now the time has come for new beginnings. Graduation is such an exciting time, but it can also be bittersweet because you’re leaving the old and walking into the new.
One of the things I love about commencement ceremonies is hearing the graduation speeches. What will be said to encourage the graduates as they are on the cusp of a new chapter in their lives? The good speeches always stick with you. I still remember the speech given at my high school baccalaureate service – “will you take the red pill or the blue pill?” Clearly life was all about the Matrix back then! Even though I haven’t been a graduate for quite a while, I always try to glean something to encourage me on my own journey.
The commencement speech given at the Woodson SHS graduation this year by Mr. Robertson was one of the best I’ve heard in a while. Here are a few pearls of wisdom that he shared with us. He said, “Tomorrow is an adventure. Today is not a resting place, but it is a starting line.”<–Click to tweet. How often do we see the end of a chapter and focus on the finality of what we are leaving behind, when we could take a different perspective and see it as the beginning of a new chapter? Mr. Robertson admonished the graduates to lead using their skills and strengths instead of waiting for others to lead them because they are surrounded by a huge cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1-2).
I love that Jesus used this speaker to speak to my own heart, even using him to quote one of my life verses. I shouted AMEN – and then realized I wasn’t quite in church! GO JESUS GO! God uses this scripture to remind me of where my focus should be. I am surrounded by a huge cloud of witnesses – people cheering me on – therefore I should cast off all that is holding me back so I can run my race with perseverance. My favorite part was when he said “You are called WARRIORS for a reason! Warriors are the first to reach the battle field and the last to leave.<–Click to tweet. They stay in the fight so that one day they can tell their children and grandchildren to finish their own battles.” WOW! One of the cool things is that I work for a Warrior School and I graduated from a Warrior School. I love that God has been telling me my identity from the very beginning – I AM A WARRIOR! This was a great reminder that my purpose in life is so much bigger than myself. I am creating and leaving a spiritual legacy for my children and the generations to come. My life is not my own. I have been bought with a price, and it is for me to share God’s goodness and faithfulness to the next generation of warriors.
Mr. Robertson closed with a challenge: Will you wilt and bend under the weight of the world, or will you accept the command of tomorrow? <–Click to tweet. I remember thinking, is this speech for the graduates or for me? It was definitely an on time love letter to me from Jesus!
With this being such a huge season of transition for graduates, it is fitting that I, too, will be transitioning to something new in my life. After five years of cheering on my students, I am leaving the college access field. I have run this race with perseverance, and now it is time for God to write a new story in my life. I am excited to shift my focus to my God-sized Dream, my business Cherished By Stacy. I feel that God is calling me to invest in building up His Kingdom using what I have in my hands. Though bittersweet as I close one chapter, I am excited to dream BIG with God and to try something new. It is time to turn the page.