Remembering High School Graduation
Twenty-five years ago on June 7, 1993, seventy-two teenagers graduated from Tri-Valley High School, a school nestled in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. I was one of those graduates and while I hear many people describe their high school years as the worst time in their life, for me it was a magical time. I loved my friends and peers. The faculty was inspiring (mostly!). The opportunities were plentiful.
Turns out it was a great time of preparation for my future.
In the 1993 yearbook, the seniors had an opportunity to share pet peeves, ambitions, activities, and embarrassing moments. As I reminisced about graduation day all those years ago, I read my ambition as an eighteen-year-old. This is what I wrote:
To go to Moody Bible Institute, serve God, and change my world.
It’s pretty amazing to me to consider that to some degree I have achieved those goals that I set so long ago. I wonder how many of my classmates would be able to say the same. As I look back on my life, I can clearly see the defining moments in my life. One of those moments was on a missions trip to Australia the summer before my senior year of high school. I read Psalm 139 every day while I was on that trip. On one of those days after reading scripture, I wrote in my journal that I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to serve God and Moody seemed like the best place to pursue that desire.
There have been times along the way when I have questioned my purpose (if you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I have done this a lot recently!). But reading my eighteen-year-old ambition reminds me to keep moving in the same direction. To keep serving God. To keep changing my world by being faithful in loving my children and impacting others for God’s glory.
As I paged through the yearbook, so many memories came flooding back. One of those was a National Honor Society Induction Ceremony. For some reason, we didn’t have a speaker, so a week before the ceremony, I was charged with asking my Dad if he would speak. I will never forget what he talked about- it was that memorable for me. “Whatever gets your attention will get you.” His words have been a nudging reminder when I was tempted to go my own way, to possibly not go to Moody, to compromise what I believed in. I have not led a perfect life by any stretch, but his words have been an anchor reminding me to make sure my attention is focused in the right direction. Seeing a picture of me sitting beside my Dad and my Mom in our high school cafeteria is so sweet to me.
I was reading in Proverbs recently and these verses stuck out:
Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Buy the truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
My Dad wrote in his Bible that his daughters have brought him great joy. I know that my Mom feels the same way and this is one of the biggest blessings in my life.
Twenty-five years since high school graduation and I have never regretted pursuing the goals and ambitions I set for myself! I’m so grateful for parents who faithfully pointed me to Jesus, for teachers who challenged me and saw potential in me, and for friends who loved me well, idiosyncrasies and all.
I had the opportunity to contribute a writing piece in our yearbook. It seems appropriate to end this post with my words from a quarter century ago…
So many memories have been firmly established in our hearts and our minds since we, the Class of ’93, first stepped into these halls of truth and knowledge six years ago. We were all small and scared then and there was seldom a time when we didn’t run to class. As time went by, we grew close to some people but seemed to drift away from others. Each of us has a different course in life. For awhile, we seemed to be divided for undefinable reasons, but as we matured, we realized that no matter how unique we were, we were still a part of the Class of ’93. Perhaps we are not the best or the brightest class to ever walk through these halls, but we are still unique individuals that can make a difference in our world. Some people say we are naive; I say we are blessed. We have received a good education and have made many lasting friendships. If man is truly a product of his environment, then we can be thankful that we have been a part of Tri-Valley High School.
Now as the sun creeps up on another era of our lives, let us always remember what we have learned. Let us remember to put others before ourselves. And let us remember that as soon as we stop learning from our mistakes, that is when we stop living.
God bless us, everyone!
Happy twenty-five years, Class of ’93!!!!