Luther Seminary. Here's an action shot of me receiving my diploma & hood right after my dear friend JMC & right before Z received his diploma & hood. I am grateful for our friend STH who captured this amongst other great moments from the day.
A little bit about the day, it was rainy - just like today - & therefore humid & the air conditioning unit in Central Lutheran Church - where the ceremony is held each year - had decided to take a rest that morning. There was a thick layer of discomfort because of the humidity & a thick level of mixed emotions. It is most often a sense of relief to be to this point in a degree program, but many people did not know what the future held for simple things like housing, health insurance, & work. Not to mention the dynamics of everybody's closest family members & friends being present as an added piece to the day.
One year later we have all figured out some form of housing, most likely health insurance of some sort, & some pieces of work. Is it what we'd hoped for, what we imagined? Yes & no. However, at nearly 30 years old, I learned at a young age, very few things in life happen/exist/turn out exactly as one hopes or imagines. We don't have this sort of control over each other or the world. We do have control over what we do & how we act with the fact that we don't have control though!
In the last year I have had 9 job titles of some kind. That is a LOT! You can imagine the joys & frustrations of such constant change & lack of stability I have experienced. Currently I hold 5 of these jobs. A colleague recently said to me, "Wow, you graduated over a year ago & you don't have a call yet? That can create a lot of anxiety!" I countered that comment with, "Yes, it can dwell up some anxiety, but it also provides a lot of time to dwell in scripture which happens to be good treatment for unsettling anxiety."
I have always found excitement in the unknown. I am a bit of a dreamer & love feeding my imagination. I find comfort knowing that the Spirit is breathing each breath in & out of me & leading me into whatever comes today. I control to be joy filled & aware of my opportunities to continue living a life worthy of the calling to which I am called (see Ephesians 4).
Graduates, recent or past, life will be new, changing, hard, exciting, & challenging. Take your joy from this great accomplishment & share it in the day-to-day adventures. Hold on to that joy & remember the hard work that got you to where you are today. This stamina & perseverance will do you good through the rest of life in all of your calls & titles.