Friday, December 14, 2012

On The Eve Of Graduation

Hello everyone!  As we all know, there are times in our lives when change happens unexpectedly...we are going about our day and suddenly something happens and we are never the same.  And then there are times when change creeps up...we know it's coming, and we're aware that it's here, but one chapter must first close before the new one begins.  It is in this particular part of change that I find myself sitting today.  Two-and-a-half years ago, I began a journey that would change my life in ways I never could have imagined.  At times, the days and weeks seemed to drag.  Yet suddenly, I find myself on the eve of graduation - about to receive my Master's Degree in counseling psychology - and it seems as if time has flown by.  Today feels a little like the day before your wedding.  You know that all you've worked for, planned for and prepared for is culminating in a ceremony tomorrow.  And you know that while the ceremony is really just a tiny moment in life, it represents a transition from one journey to the next.  So while I sit here waiting to go pick my family up from the airport, as I ponder the change that awaits me as a new chapter starts, I would like to take the time to thank some people.  Because I would have never made it through these last 2 1/2 years without the support, encouragement, and love of so many of you...

To begin, thanks be to God!  Only He knew that I was ready for this, that I would be finding my sweet spot, learning how He has made me on deep levels.  He knew what I would encounter, what I would work through, and He gave me new friends to give me what I needed to survive.  He remains patient and gracious with me, and I am in awe that He has trusted me with the holy ground that is another person's story.

Thank you to my parents and my siblings!  They have supported me in sooo many ways, and I could not have done this apart from them.  I am who I am because of how I was shaped through my family, and I am a better counselor because of them.  I love you guys so much!

Thank you to my bestest friend and fabulous roommate Nikki!  She has lived through these years with me, known how difficult it was, and supported me through each moment.  I am sooo thankful God brought us together as friends and sisters all those years ago.  He knew what we would need, even when we had no clue what was in front of us.  Love you tons!

To my "big brother" - I would not be who I am personally or as a counselor without you in my life.  Thank you does not seem adequate, but I am forever changed.  Love you!

To the Freeman's - Thank you for your continued support during this time and always.  You hold such a special place in my heart, and I'm so glad we're family!  Love you all!

Thanks to my extended family and friends who have encouraged me in multiple ways - there are too many to even begin to count and name.  I stand here today because you have each been a part of my life and helped shape me into who I am and who I need to be for this next chapter.  I am soooo thankful to have such a community of support and encouragement and love.  You guys will be walking across the stage with me tomorrow and are very loved!

To my professors - Dr. Lawson, Dr. Carson, Dr. Shyers, Dr. Casado.... I have learned much from each of you.  I have the skills and techniques that I need to be a counselor, but more than that, you have taught me how to be embrace who God has made me to be, to realize that I am the greatest tool I have in a counseling room, and that I can trust my gut, even if my style looks a little different.  Thank you for your wisdom, for the countless ways you pour into the lives of your students, and for forever being a part of the fabric of my life.  Love you guys!

Cyndi - You came into my life before this whole adventure started and because of our work together, I was able to do this.  I don't know what would have happened if I had not met you.  Thank you for the grace you have shown me, your patience, and your encouragement in every way.  I am sooo thankful for you.  Love you!

To Liz & Tony B. - Thank you for your faithful support of me through this journey.  You allowed me to eat and pay rent at times, and I will forever be grateful.  You have been a shining example to me of God's faithfulness and His graciousness.  Beauty out of ashes.  Always.  Love you both!

To Jason W. & Chick-fil-A - Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a living while going to school.  This journey would not have been possible without you and the flexibility and support you gave me.  I will always be grateful for all the ways you poured into my life that allowed me to be here today!  Much love to you!

There are so many of you that have been a part of this, and I hope I have not left anyone out - it was not intentional if so!  Just know that I understand that I couldn't have done this on my own.  It is with the community of support God has given me that I will be able to receive my diploma tomorrow and with that same community that I move forward into the next chapter of life.  Thank you feels small, but thank you to each of you.  Now let's celebrate!! :)

No comments: