So on Friday, May 7, as I was headed out to meet my parents and my campus minister/mentor/dad away from home, Franklin, for lunch, I received a call from NTM (New Tribes Mission) representative Tom Brendle. He was calling to offer me congratulations on many levels. Congrats for graduating and also congrats for being approved as an ASSOCIATE with New Tribes Mission to teach missionary kids in Mexico for 2 years!!!
Words cannot describe the joy and happiness within my heart at that moment. To know that a dream that I have been chasing for so many years is finally coming to fruition is frightening, humbling, exciting, and oh so many other crazy emotions. Wow. The Lord is good.
This weekend was full of so many blessings. I turned 22 on Thursday and got to spend the day with both friends and family. I graduated from the College of Education on Friday afternoon and headed home to see my family. So many people have been so generous with graduation gifts, and my parents were so sweet with their birthday and graduation gifts, too.
My Aunt Linda and Uncle Charles came in town from Columbia, SC, as did my cousin (their son) William from Tuscaloosa, AL. I didn't even realize he was coming in town, and his presence was greatly welcomed as comic relief and peacemaker through the weekend. It meant so much to me.
Saturday was almost a perfect day--one of the best I have had in quite some time. We arrived to Athens in plenty of time, and my extended family got to meet Franklin at the BCM. I was surprised by my friends Sara Beth and Nick and his brother Adam, who were upstairs making signs for me and my friends Katie Snell, Katie Underwood, and Dayna. How sweet are they?
Next, my family we walked "across the street" (my dad had to carry a cooler and said that it was "across the street and up a block," which was not good for his back) to the Founder's Memorial Garden, one of my favorite spots on campus, to have a BBQ picnic. Delightful. After enjoying our meal, we packed up the rest of the stuff and saw more friends at the BCM and then headed to the Arch. My parents and other family members decided that they would forgo standing in line to take a picture at the beloved Arch, but William and Lauren decided to wait with me. Katie and I joked around and we made estimates about how long it was going to take. William assured me that we were "going to get this picture" before the day was over. About an hour or so later, we got our picture and rolled out just in time.
I met my beautiful cluster F friends at the bookstore so that we could all walk in and sit together, and all seemed right with the world. I love those girls so much. They have been who I spent the most time with for the past 2 years, and I was so happy to be able to finish college with them. We begun the Early Childhood Education journey together and we were determined to finish together! We took pictures, waited on a few stragglers, and headed into Sanford Stadium, excited to walk on the field and turn our tassels.
The commencement ceremony was great! Christie Haynes, the speaker from our class, was so poised and recounted wonderful and not-so-wonderful memories from the class of 2010. Alton Brown, the Food Network "Good Eats" host, was hilarious. And when Michael Adams conferred the degrees for the College of Education and I saw those fireworks, I was oh so excited. It was truly a wonderful day.
Now on to more adventures! I honestly cannot believe that the Lord has so many crazy things in store, and there is so much to be done is such a short amount of time! I am so grateful for all the Lord has done in my heart in these past four years and for what He is going to continue to do. I honestly get a little overwhelmed when I think about all that I have to do to prepare for Mexico and the tiny little things I'll probably forget that are important. But then the Lord reminds me that it is not me who has to do these things. He has never left me, and He will not leave me now! He is able to infinitely more than I can ask or imagine! All glory be to Him.