Let’s Have a Big Old Graduation Celebration!

Gratitude Day 454

Mon., May 11, 2020

Jeremiah 29:11 – I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.

Over the weekend, I was going through some boxes of things and ran across items from when I graduated: my diplomas and the tassels I received. Each time I participated in a graduation ceremony, high school, college bachelor’s degree and seminary master’s degree, it felt like a monumental event in my life. I had completed a benchmark moment in my life. I had hope for the next period of my life and felt I was moving towards the next major step in my life.

As I looked held the memories from my graduation days in my hands, the truth was not lost on me that so many graduates this spring will not have the same opportunity that I did. They won’t get to walk across a stage and hug and high-five their fellow classmates. Family won’t travel from afar to recognize this significant event in their lives. This spring’s graduation celebrations will be so different from my graduations.

I had awards banquets and parties and celebrations and pictures. I donned a robe and mortar board and ceremoniously moved the tassel from one side of the cap to the next after we received our diplomas. I attended classmates’ celebrations and said good-bye to favorite teachers with promises to keep in touch.

Graduating seniors are experiencing a completely different culture this spring. One day they were attending classes at school; the next day, they weren’t. Many missed spring sports and the hope of accomplishing a goal in the process. For this spring’s graduates, the end of the school year seems quite different because, well, it is.

I’ve been impressed with the creativity that various schools have embodied to honor their graduates: signs, banners and online recognitions. Principals making personal visits to graduates. Senior of the day postings in social media. Anything that could help this year’s graduates feel even a little bit special for a hot minute.

My guess is that we all know at least one person who will be graduating this spring. Whether is high school, college, a graduate degree, kindergarten, 8th grade or a tech school: they won’t be having a ceremony like we’ve historically experienced. There won’t be any hot gyms for families to sit in or caps that fall off a graduate’s head too easily. Senior skip day has turned into a couple months’ worth of missing school. Scholarship winners won’t get to shake hands with donors nor medals put around necks for those who achieved specific accomplishments. Families won’t spontaneously break out into applause after their loved one’s name is read and we won’t get sick of ham sandwiches and potato salad during the month of May.

Graduates have reason to feel cheated. Disappointed. Let down.

So, I want to do just a little something to help them feel special. Honored. Recognized.

This Wednesday night, I invite you to invite those people you know who are graduating this spring for a special edition of Devos with Dianne. We’re going to celebrate the heck out of their accomplishments and shower them with lots of love. No, it won’t be a graduation ceremony. Nor will Orpah drop in and give advice. But let’s take a few minutes and let this spring’s graduates have a hot minute of recognition.

In order for this to work, I need your help. First, contact those people you know who are graduating and invite them to Devos with Dianne on Wed. night, May 13, at 8 PM on Facebook Live. Tag them with this post or forward it to them and ask them to join you. Send me a digital photo of the graduate(s). We’ll show them during Devos with Dianne and I’ll invite everyone to virtually applaud.

Then, on Wednesday night, encourage them to hop online with us, wearing their cap and grown. I’d love for people to share photos of their graduate while we’re online watching Devos, decked out in their cap and gown. Make the time special by having a cupcake or something else ready to celebrate. Bring a candle and we’ll light them together to honor these grads.

What if you don’t know a graduate? Show up anyways!! We need the rest of YOU to be the audience and celebrate their accomplishment! We need folks to virtually high-five them and clap as their name is read and show them so serious love.

Each time I graduated; I was very aware that God had a plan for the next phase of my life. Maybe I knew what it would look like. Sometimes, I didn’t. What I did know is that I wanted God to be a part of my journey and my plan. This year’s graduates need this encouragement, just as much as I did, when I received my diploma. Let’s join together in praying for their journeys. Celebrating their accomplishments. Blessing the next step of their journey.

I pray that together, we have a FANTASTIC time Wednesday night honoring our graduates. But I need YOUR help to make this work. Send me photos of the graduates you know. Invite them to participate Wednesday night. Show up so together, we can honor and bless them.

For God’s involvement with this year’s graduates, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – We know you didn’t cause all of these graduation celebrations to be delayed or canceled. We know you love every single graduate and have a special plan for their lives. Inspire us to creatively honor and bless them this week. May we show up and applaud all of their hard work. We know you’ll be at our virtual graduation celebration, ready to bless these graduates. I pray we invite those who are ready to be blessed by You. Amen.

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