If you read my post last week about the writing trip the girls and I took, you might remember me mentioning a speech that Susannah was writing for her graduation. She finished writing it, and did an excellent job of giving it last Saturday. We were all so proud of her. God honored her willingness to give this speech, and she saw once again the truth of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
I would like to share her speech with you here.
I have been looking forward to this day for pretty much my whole life. Today ends the twelve years of my official homeschooled education. I am crazy, crazy excited.
Sometimes I literally feel like I’m going to explode because I have all this random happiness struggling to escape. For some reason, this happens to me most nights right after dinner, and whenever I listen to the Tarzan soundtrack. I usually create a huge scene in response to something that I am told was simply not that funny. And usually, I choke.
It’s a strange phenomenon, and it’s the same way I feel when I think about my life after graduation.
There are so many things I love. So many beautiful cities and dirt roads and donut shops to be explored and photographed. So many languages to be learned, people to be loved and songs to be sung way too loud.
It can be easy to look at the future and feel anxious and overwhelmed. But what is there to be anxious about? We’re young, we’re free, God is on our side, and the world has no idea what it’s in for when we take it by storm.
I think if we have the right view of Christ and His kingdom, we can’t help but get excited about the future. Hebrew says: “And we are His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” (Hebrews 3:6b)
It’s easy enough to boast about stupid things, but what we should be boasting in is the fact that we serve a mighty God. He is in charge, he loves us, and folks, He’s going to win. This is our hope and our confidence.
I’m confident, not because I know I’ll succeed in everything I want to do in life. There’s things I want to do that I won’t get to do, and I love doing a lot of things that I’m just not that good at. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up and not even try. There will always be ways to serve and glorify God, and God gives us our passions. He gave me my love for people, just like He gave my sister Bethany her love for books. I think He’ll use both for His glory.
If our one goal is to serve God, we cannot fail.
Our pastor gave an awesome and timely sermon a few weeks ago. He talked about how we are God’s messengers, and our work is the mission of God. It might not seem epic or beautiful—it might be messy and unpleasant. But the fact that we are the battalion of Christ should make even the jobs that look insignificant take on real meaning.
Not only does this mean that we should be motivated and hardworking—it also means that we should take joy in what we do, knowing that we are making a difference.
Standing up here and getting my diploma doesn’t mean I’m off the hook. I haven’t finished my high school education so that I can sit around and watch romantic comedies and eat Krispy Kreme donuts while I wait for something exciting to happen in my life. There will be movie watching, and you bet there will be donut-eating, but that will be the side project.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life. My plan? To run the race with everything that I have, to love people, to read long, complicated books, to learn everything I can about the human mind, to take millions of photos, to serve God by serving the people He has put in my life. To create and laugh and sing and write and talk and eat donuts to the glory of God and the furthering of His kingdom.
In the words of Peter:
“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed.
Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 1:13-15)