Last night I went to a high school graduation ceremony for some of our teens. It's a small school with not that many grads, so it was a very personal ceremony. One of their teachers spoke, and it was clear from his words and emotions that he cared deeply for his kids and their future. He is also leaving the school, so I suppose that made him even more emotional. As I looked down at the grads, I thought about hope, and how in a way, their lives are just beginning. Each graduate walked across the stage while someone read a blurb about him/her .. what s/he'd be remembered for, what his/her future plans were ... and it was neat to hear about the big plans they all had. I was trying to think of how I felt at my high school graduation... I don't think I felt full of anticipation for my future, but then again I knew there'd be at least four more years of school. I don't even recall feeling grown up. I think I just felt a general sense of dread. Graduation from high school wasn't that big a deal for me. I had to be home by midnight on my prom night and so when people talk about the fun things they did for prom or convocation, my eyes just glaze right over.
At my first university graduation, I still didn't feel any real anticipation for the future - again because there was even more schooling ahead.
At my second university graduation, I felt slightly more hope... mostly in the knowledge that I would never have to set foot in another building on campus ever again. EVER. (It didn't help that I did both degrees at the same school AND I worked on campus for at least 3 years plus summers.) I had a lot of exciting things going on after graduation, like our wedding, moving out, getting a job ... so the future was rosy. But, I don't know why, things still felt unsettled.
Last night as I listened to the speakers, I realized that I actually feel all of that hope and anticipation right now. We just moved into our new place, and although I loved our old house, I really love this house. It isn't some sort of magic house with magic qualities. In fact we have found several quirks and issues already. But it's home. It's my home. It's the first time my name has appeared on title (so we were too lazy to change things for three years, oops), it's the first time I've felt like a real live adult. People - the bank lent ME money. How crazy is that!?
I'm really looking forward to our lives in this place. Maybe one day we'll have kids, who knows. Maybe even a second dog one day! I am trying not to plan my entire life... but to rely on God more fully. Last night's grads chose Proverbs 16:9 as their grad verse:
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."
I think that's quite fitting for a new beginning, don't you?