I want to challenge you all to remember your time here and the things we have been taught, value the time spent here and use all the things you have learnt to remind and help you in the future. On the grad retreat, when we were river rafting, I did something really out of my character, I jumped off the boat into the river, and I don’t regret it for one moment. So I want to encourage all of you guys to do something out of the ordinary, something none of us would expect you to do. Do something that the world does not think you can do. Do something you want to do and not what everyone else says you should do. Do something that will impact the world. “Trust God from the bottom of your heart, don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!” (Proverbs 3:5-7) Congratulations Grads of ’09! We did it!!!!
Four years ago, that is how I ended my valedictorian speech to the graduating class of '09. My baby sister is graduating today and has thus caused me to walk down memory lane. To think of old friends, crazy retreats, and encouraging teachers. To think of all the excitement and hope we had for our futures. What was to come after graduating and entering into the 'real world'!
Looking back over what I said, I wonder if I would've changed what I said, if I had the chance to do it again. I don't think I realized how many crazy, fantastic, devastating, and joy filled moments life would hold since that day. That never would we all be together again. Never would I have the chance to say something to all my friends and their family members. And no one probably never remembers what I said but I still wonder, what would I say differently? If I had the chance today, what would I say?
Since that day life has changed drastically for many of the people in my little class of 42. Further schooling and careers have come, marriages have happened, life has been born, and a life has been taken.
The little blurbs they read describing each of us and our ambitions as we crossed that stage may not even be close to who we are and what we are doing today. But those were our dreams. That was who we were.
I pray that since then we have all become more mature and better people. That we are living out the challenge to do something that we want to do - to do something that will impact that world.
I hope we are living out our dreams - whether they are new found dreams or ones we have been dreaming for a long time. I hope we are somehow impacting our world for the better.
And I hope and pray that my baby sister and her friends have been empowered and equipped to do the same.
And you know, looking back on it, I don't think I would say much different. Sure we may be in totally different places than we imagined at the time, but our call to follow God and seek Him in all that we do remains the same. The challenge to make an impact in our world and live out our dreams still stands.
And however different our dreams may be now, I challenge us all to really think about what we dream about and to take the steps of faith necessary to be able to live them out!
Congrats to the class of' '13!