In a few months – two of my favourite people will be graduating from high school, in this, the year of Covid.
The boy (mine-ours)
The girl (his-ours)
To be honest I’m not sure how to process all that this year has thrown at us and them.
It has been a year of lasts and a year of firsts. There was the obvious first of the disruption of Covid and then the challenges associated with the final year of school and being the first cohort through the new senior system in Queensland.
While the year has been challenging for all of us – it has been a big year for our senior students.
As parents of seniors we’ve been poignantly aware of the firsts and the lasts in the climate of a pandemic. But then as I reflected on it, I guess every year is a series of firsts and lasts, whether we are aware of them or not.
It’s September already and so:
one day soon we will have our final drive to school as two teachers and two yr 12 students.
one day soon he will drop into my staffroom to borrow my keycard because he’s left his at home for the last time.
one day soon I’ll hear her, and her friends, laughing in the classroom next door, for the last time.
some time soon I’ll see him wandering to class with his friends, for the last time.
some time soon I’ll ask “is your uniform clean for tomorrow?” for the last time.
one day soon she’ll pass by my classroom giving her trademark peace sign, for the last time.
some time soon I’ll receive the last “when are we leaving” text message.
one day soon I’ll see her face appear at my staffroom window, for the last time.
one day they’ll both perform on that stage, where they both now appear to be at home, for the last time.
some day soon I’ll hear “Hello Mum” from a taller than me man-child in school uniform, for the last time …
It’s been a massive blessing to have driven to school with him almost every day for the past 13 years, and with her for a lot of the past 8. It’s been a great joy to be there and know that he’s there every day. We’ve come a long way.
In all of the bittersweetness, this year has also brought us an overwhelming pride that these two have made it.
The two who are graduating have certainly both survived some challenges – especially in the past two years. These two are incredibly strong young people. Stronger and more resilient than most would give them credit for. They are two young people who have risen up and out of situations that would crush most.
As far as I can tell we haven’t even begun to see what these two have to offer.
I’m certain that everything they have been through will be used for good. I’m sure it already is being used for good.
After all that’s what the God we serve does.
He takes what was meant to harm us and uses it for our good.
He takes the prison experience of one and turns it into the salvation of a nation.
He takes a desert experience and he brings about the redemption of his people.
He takes weakness and pours in his strength.
He takes scars and uses them to heal others.
He takes hurts and turns them into blessings.
He takes loss and converts it to eternal gain.
He takes mourning and fashions it into dancing.
He takes ashes and transforms it to beauty.
He takes the lonely and settles them in families.
He takes dry bones and breathes life into them.
He takes deserts and reshapes them into streams.
He takes heartache and remakes it into a song.
I guess that’s the way we look at the year as we move forward — it’s not the year we were expecting but then — when can we ever say that a year has been what we were expecting?
All I know to do, is, to expect that there will be joy, there will be sorrow, there will be loss, there will pain, there will be growth. Each year we will hopefully exit wiser than we entered it.