Thoughts of packing boxes thrilled my soul as we received an offer on the house three years ago. I knew that this was the first step towards our new journey that was leading us to the “Burg”. While at moments I almost could not contain my excitement for this next part of our lives, I must admit that I had moments of near depression with the thoughts of leaving my security blanket- Statesville… The place where all of our family and friends were located.
I must admit that it really feels like we have hit the fast-forward button and now we are almost three years down the road. At times this journey has felt like a whirlwind. Sometimes it felt like time would not pass fast enough for me to get see Luke for the few minutes that he would make an appearance from his cocoon.
I reflect on the nights I felt as though I couldn’t push forward and the encouraging words that I would receive from family/friends or the card that would get me through the day. The first semester by far was the longest, most grueling semester of Luke’s undergraduate degree for me. I’m sure that he could argue otherwise for himself.
As the undergraduate chapter closed this past weekend with the celebration of Luke’s graduation, you could not wipe the smile off of either of our faces-- or the rest of our family and friends- including those that were not able to attend the commencement activity! For your viewing pleasure I have included some pictures below.
If you notice in the pictures, you will see Luke adorning a red stole… the Gratitude Stole. In summary, “The Legend of the Stole of Gratitude” offers the opportunity for the graduate to say “Thanks for helping me make it through, thanks for making it possible for me to succeed!” After the ceremony was done and we had cooled off after having some amazing food, Luke went to the jeep and comes back with this bright red stole. He walks back over to us and tells me to come up to him, which I did (like a good wife), and he proceeded talking about how so many people helped him and us throughout his first round at Liberty. He then continued on by telling me and everyone else how he could never accomplished pushing through without me. How I made it possible to push through during the hard times and encourage him to keep striving. As my heart melted, both of our eyes began filling with tears. He briefly explained the Legend and then turned to me and adorned me with his bright red stole. I honestly felt completely unworthy of receiving this honor from him. I immediately started thinking about everyone that I felt was worthy of this honor and it wasn’t me.
Simple story indeed, life impacting indeed, a moment that I will always cherish- you better believe it.
Throughout this journey thus far- and yes it continues this fall with Luke attending Liberty’s Law School, has given me the opportunity to see how God provides for you. How He holds you through it all. How amazing it is for others to be used as a vessel by sending an encouraging word. How every step that I take prepares me to help others, comfort others, support others, and just be there for others that walk through this journey. I must admit that I am human and that I have questioned God and wondered what He was doing and occasionally if He was really in control and allowing certain items to happen… Hindsight is 20/20. I have come to learn that I truly must not lean on my understanding- my plan- my thoughts- that I must draw near to my Father who is in control and definitely knows better than any human being of what step to take.
Here’s to a fun-filled summer of having the opportunity to be spoiled by the amount of time Luke is not preoccupied with studies and also the opportunity to reflect on all of God’s mercy thus far on the journey. While part of me is dreading another 3 years of school, I must admit that I am truly excited and while I want to know the next step after law, I will remain content on our current status. Cherish each second that I have. Challenge myself that in every action and every thought that I have, that I will bring honor and glory my Glorious Provider.
In closing, thank you for your support and prayers that helped us come this far.