No worries. I will complete the overview of "finals" week . . . but this post is dedicated to yesterday. It began at 6:15am because I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. Holly and I attended the early service and Sunday school at Grace Church. Then we sipped an Italian ice while we journaled at Bella Vita--our favorite coffee shop. Lunch at Fazoli's completed our time together before we headed back to the room to finish getting ready.
The day just seemed so relaxed and joyful. We lined up in the ER auditorium at 1:30. I was in this surreal mode--couldn't believe it was actually happening. At 20 after 2pm all 400+ graduates walked through campus on our way to Weikamp gym. It was packed! I couldn't believe how many people were there. The whole ceremony went smoothly. The speaker did an excellent job: I'll remember Luke 7:11 and "touch the coffin." I'm sure it seemed long to the spectators but I enjoyed watching all of these people I know get their diploma.
My favorite moments of the ceremony:
1) Receiving my diploma and grinning the whole way across the stage.
2) Seeing Jordan when he came down to take pictures right at the end.
3) Singing "To God be the Glory" and just worshipping.
4) Seeing my family and friends in the bleachers as we processed back to the ponds.
Next was hugging and picture time! My face hurt from smiling but I didn't mind. I took pictures with everyone, even laughing and tree-hugging shots with Holly. (It's tradition.) Afterwards, we headed to Applebees for dinner. Charity and Nora joined us. Greg entertained the whole table. I enjoyed chatting with everyone. Lots of laughter and talking. Then we packed up the rest of my stuff and headed home.
Relief. Joy. Exhaustion. Satisfaction. Gratitude. Peace.
Those are just a few of the feelings that rushed through me yesterday . . . and continue to overwhelm me. I just wanted to soak in every minute of it.
I made it.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!