Where do you belong? (Some thoughts on graduation season)
Some of my closest friends graduated from university this past Sunday. Needless to say, it was a very emotional weekend for me. I lost it at the Baccalaureate service on Saturday night. I had had choir rehearsals in between my on campus job, did my friends’ hair after work most evenings, so I was pretty exhausted that Saturday evening. I lost my composure during Baccalaureate, a service on the eve of graduation where the graduands wear their caps and gowns, march down the aisle in our gorgeous school chapel, and listen to speeches and words of advice from the college president, dean of the college, two professors and two students of their choice, and listen to some lovely music from the choir.
Baccalaureate was my first time seeing all these friends of mine in their graduation garb and I had a time lapse of all the joy, the stress, the all-nighters, and the fights we had experienced together and individually for the past three years that we’ve been friends.
It dawned on me that a part of me belonged to them, and a part of them belonged to me. I was one with my friends, and in that moment, I realized that we had shared something very special, very deep, and very genuine.
Graduation day came around, and although I shed a few tears here and there, but I was in mostly high spirits. It was at evening time when my friends were actually leaving, leaving that I finally understood that they were leaving this special place that we have all called home, whether deliberately or accidentally.
As I walked back to my room later that evening, I tried to think about my life before I met this new set of friends I had become so attached to. I thought about my Loyola days (my secondary school, which I attended from ages 10-16). I thought about how similar the friends in my circle were, and how much I shared with the friends from that time in my life.
I thought about ALA, where I made my most diverse group of friends. My two closest friends from ALA, Priscilla and Rima, are from Malawi and Sierra-Leone. Never would I have imagined that I would make friends with people with vastly different backgrounds from mine. Also, I erroneously believed that we would leave ALA and our relationships would die.
Then I thought about coming to college and how nervous I was about making new friends. The process of making new friends is stressful, and it stretches you out of your comfort zone no matter how friendly you are.
But somehow, these bonds are strengthened over time and eventually, strangers become friends and eventually, sisters.
And then I found the common thread in all of this: God provides.
Whenever we think about provision, we think about financial sustenance. We don’t always remember that God provides in ways that are unquantifiable and innumerable.
He also provides friends! He provides people that help us on our life journeys. He provides people that will hold our hands through the fire and wipe our tears. He provides people that will fast for a prayer intention with us, and make offerings on our behalf.
The Lord provides people. People that will love and accept us. People that will teach us how to love and accept others. People that will show us His love!
That was a powerful realization for me. The Lord provides people.
If you’re graduating and moving a new place, you may feel lonely for a season, but if you open your heart, the Lord will bring people into your heart and you will once again, create fond memories and a lot of love!
That the most comforting realization I’ve had in awhile.
So, where do you belong? To the family of God, and He provides His other children everywhere you go. They will show you greater depths of His love, and open your own heart in ways you never imagined.
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