My daughter headed off to Lethbridge shortly after her high school graduation, to go to university to get her Education degree. It was a tear-filled day for me as we said, “Good-bye” and left her there at the student residences on campus. I wept the entire three hour drive home. I knew that she was following her dream to becoming a teacher, but now she was truly on her own. She didn’t live under my roof any more. She had left the nest, returning for visits (and much of her laundry for me to wash) regularly, but for all intents and purposes, she was on her own. She had been planning and coordinating her move to Lethbridge for months and although I may have struggled with letting her go, she seemed more than a little excited,…and even ready…to move.
Several months passed. She phoned us one evening and said that she was coming home for the weekend…oh….and she wasn’t coming home alone. After weeks of hinting to us over the phone that she had met a young man in Lethbridge, finally she wanted us to meet him. She said he looked like the rapper, “Eminem” and he was tall. I started to worry.
I remember Charles (my husband) meeting my parents the first time. My Dad was short in stature, 5′ 5″ (or thereabouts) and when my 6’2″ boyfriend looked down at my Dad he said, “Pardon me, Sir. But are you standing in a hole?”
We had met other boys Laurelle had dated throughout the years, but as she prattled on and on with us about her new boyfriend over the phone, there was something different in the tone of her voice when she talked about this one. I suspected this boy had actually captured her heart.
I had to laugh when Matt walked through the door. He had to bend over to get through the doorway, his six foot seven frame towering over all of us. My husband, bless his heart, asked Matt, “How’s the air up there?” Matt’s smile lit up the room. Laurelle looked up at him and I knew that my girl was in love.
From that day on, Matt has become like a son to my husband and I. Matt and Laurelle married in 2005 and we have watched with delight as they have grown more and more in love with each other and how they have dedicated their lives in serving God in ministry.
Matt is the “big brother” to our two other teenagers living at home and he is father to Jaxon, our precious grandson. Matt and I have a great son-in-law/mother-in-law relationship. Yes, he’s called me an “Old Bat” when I beat him at mini-golf and yes, the first thing he does when he comes to our house is head straight for the refrigerator, (LOL), but he is our joy and delight and we love him with all our hearts.
On Saturday, he will walk the stage and receive his Bachelor of Christian Ministry degree from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary. We will watch proudly as he stands tall with his cap and gown on. No doubt he will tower over the other graduates (literally and figuratively,) our hearts drawn to him more than the others,…and we will applaud his accomplishments when he receives his degree, three years of hard work and determination behind him. We’re going to host his “after grad” party in our home along with his parents and friends to celebrate his achievement. It will be a great day!
But Graduation means much more than a cap, gown and a diploma for my son-in-law. It is a stepping stone towards another God-called objective for him. God has called him to full time ministry, and Matt will move (along with my daughter and grandson) to Louisville, Kentucky so Matt can get his Masters and a Biblical Counseling degree. God has a plan and a purpose for Matt in Kingdom building. As much as I struggle with having to say, “Good bye” to them in a few weeks, as I hear them plan and coordinate their move to the States, they seem more than a little excited,…and ready…to move on.
That’s what graduation is all about. Graduation is forward motion.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6