Friday, May 15, 2009

How Does it Feel?

pictured here are Carlton and simply beautiful (about 2002)

I dedicate tonight's Graduation to my big brother, my mentor, my friend, my number one encourager-- Carlton. I love you!! R.I.P.

How does it feel to finally get something that you've been working towards for quite a while? That's the question I'm asking myself. How does I feel? I've been working towards a Bachelor's degree for a while now. And in approximately 3 1/2 hours from now I will officially receive a Bachelors Degree in Arts and Sciences in Sociology from Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, TX.
I know, I know--people graduate all the time. Someone graduates felt they never would have made it. I'm sure there are more heartfelt stories than mine. But I still had to take the time to reminisce over the last two years especially. I'll go back to June 2007. During the spring, I'd applied as a transfer student but wasn't sure if I'd be admitted. I did fair at my previous school, but my first college experience was a failure. But, I'd heard from God that this would work out so I had to keep the faith. I got the call one Wednesday afternoon in early June that I'd been admitted. I shared the news with my brother who was ill at the time. He was so happy for me because he knew of my dream to return to school and finish my degree. The next Sunday, he went into the hospital. Early Saturday morning, he was dead. My whole world went into a tailspin. Never did it occur to me, not once did I consider not continuing my education because of my loss. The thought didn't cross my mind, because Carlton would have wanted me to go on.
So tonight's victory is not just for me--but for my big brother. Tonight I walk across that stage to show death that it has not won. Death comes to steal, kill and destroy. Death tried to steal my joy, kill my purpose, and destroy my dream. But God said "NO!!" And so in this situation, death still has no victory, it has no sting. (paraphrase John 10:10 and 1 Cor 15:55)
Tonight I proudly walk across that stage and accept my degree and remember that I made many, many sacrifices, none of which I regret. I passed up on going out with friends and family and as a result lost some friends--they didn't understand that I was in pursuit. I placed my love life on hold--I've delayed travels and vacations-- I sacrificed mid-week and Sunday evening church services and activities. I've even sacrificed eating and sleeping. But all of the hardship, working a full time job, being a full time mother and student, starting my day at 5am, late nights writing papers, reading homework assignments and finally ending my day at 1 or 2am, just to begin again at 5am.--times when I did not know where the bill/tuition/book/grocery money was coming from, not knowing if I had the physical or mental strength or the knowledge to even start or complete a project or a paper...all of the sacrifice has been worth it for this one night. Tonight when I will proudly walk across the stage, I will know it's because I persevered, I belong, and I deserve it.

simply beautiful

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