'Tis the season of the graduate! Now, if you have babies at home who have not reached Pre-K or Kindergarten yet, then graduation may not even be on your radar...it certainly wasn't on mine until my own daughter reached those milestones. And somewhere during my baby-haze of life, I think I lost sight of the value of graduation.
A week or so ago, I watched my firstborn child march down the aisle in a white cap and gown to Edward Elgar's famous "Pomp and Circumstance." She is only five years old, but I was still moved to tears at such a milestone! All the first five years of training her, working with her, disciplining her, investing in her - this moment was the culmination of a season of her little life. A celebration of all the struggles, victories, accomplishments - and a signal to move on ahead.
Graduation seems such a normal part of our educational lives, but we don't usually view our spiritual lives that way. However, don't you have a sense when a season of your life is coming to a close? Don't you feel it when you're in a place of completion? I think we all need to pause for a "graduation moment" and give ourselves a ceremonial permission to move on ahead. Completion is a satisfying thing. Accomplishment is a reason for confidence. Closure is a sweet kiss on what has been and a hopeful embrace of what is to come.
So many times as moms, we get stuck in a rut and get frustrated when things aren't fitting into our well-worn pathways anymore. I try to communicate with my kids how I communicated six months ago, but they are beyond that now. If I don't speak to them on their level, they don't hear me. I try to discipline my kids the same way I did six months ago, but my efforts have no effect because my children have moved on. What used to do the trick isn't working anymore. AAAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH! But that is so normal - it is imprinted in our DNA. Accomplish, grow, conquer and move on.
So, why is it that I let myself stop growing? Why don't I give myself milestone markers of accomplishment and celebrate moving forward? It's about time we all did. Ask the Lord to show you places where you have completed your assignment and let Him free you to move on. Sometimes, I think we even need to "graduate" from things like attitudes, habits, patterns of speech and thought... You are meant to grow and change - so let yourself! You have permission to move forward into all that God has in store! Don't be tricked into thinking that you are stuck, because you most definitely are not. Circumstances may seem to trap you momentarily, but the Almighty God of the Universe and Beyond has the power to arrange - and even better - to transcend your circumstances.
Bottom line: Congratulations on your graduation! Move your tassel over, walk across the stage and do a little dance of joy, because the next thing is just around the corner. May the struggles, victories and accomplishments - all that has happened in this most recent season - spur you on to knowing God more intimately, loving Him more deeply and living in Him more fully!