Sitting in the large stadium enjoying the commencement festivities, I watched graduates exchange enthusiastic handshakes for rolled-up pieces of paper symbolizing the successful end of a season. Apparently graduates brought along their own cheering section with specific instructions on how and what to scream. In the midst of the noise, the echoes in my mind traveled back to my graduation day at Ohio State University. As I walked across the stage, I looked down at my beautiful engagement ring and squeezed the simulated diploma. I just knew that I was walking into that happily ever after I had been waiting for all of my life. I would learn, sooner rather than later, that my life was not a fairy tale and it was not a once upon a time world.
Knowing what I know now, I pondered what I might have said to a younger version of myself on that special day to help her understand how she would come to know and survive the real world. The following words wrote themselves.
I am so proud of you. You are about to begin a life and a career that you have dreamed about. You are smart, generous, faithful and loving. Nine-tenths of your possibility has not been touched off. There is all kind of good struggling to be born from way inside.
Yet you are not free of doubt. There are worries and fears that are struggling to be expressed. At times, you feel like you are not enough. That is the lie you will have to overcome. And you will. When you walk into your place of worthiness you will feel like a designer’s original. And you are.
However, during your inevitable struggles, you will never be alone. God’s grace is more than sufficient for anything you must overcome. He has given you a great resilience for your own integrity, a great resolve in the face of serious problems. You will do your best in the midst of unbelievable professional and personal difficulties. You will arrive at a destination where Daddy used to say, “You have all the spontaneity of a rose at seven o’clock on a bright summer morning”. There you will know peace. There you will have a willingness to be surprised and open to possibilities.
Here is the best news of all. You will become fearless and wise and hopeful not just for yourself, but for and with others as well. You will encourage them with authority born out of your experiences that they are worthy; that help comes from the asking, that love comes in the giving; and that life is lived to the fullest when the fear is gone. Your testimony will be that nothing that happens in their life, the good, the bad and the scary will be wasted.
God is holding a wonderful destiny in trust for you. All you have to do is say, “Yes!” to the power within you.
Blessings and hugs,
Your future selfUntil next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.