To seniors who are mourning what they’re missing—
I wish I could recreate all the final hoorahs this pandemic has taken from you: we’d throw an over-the-top graduation party, host a sentimental class ring ceremony, take a ride around Tuscaloosa to check off all the things you always said you’d do before graduation. But that sadly just isn’t possible.
So, instead, I want to remind you of what you’ve already done in your 3.75 years on UA’s campus.
You walked onto campus as nervous freshmen and transfer students, people you likely wouldn’t recognize based on the person you are now. You were brave and bold when you first stepped into the BCM, when you signed up for a Journey Group, when you joined a random game night or Glory Bound trip after Discovery. You found friends that feel more like family, you welcomed newcomers each year into the place that now feels like home. You watched Tua and Hurts lead the Tide to major victories and experienced some major losses.
More importantly, you were leaders. You led one another at the BCM, serving on different teams that make the B thrive. You led at your churches, at summer camps, on mission trips, in your classes. You led people to Jesus. The leadership you displayed throughout your time on campus will leave a legacy of its own. Rising seniors, juniors, sophomores, and even incoming freshmen will look to your example and be better because of it. Your legacy matters.How you’re handling this current situation - the sadness of missing your scheduled graduation, the uncertainty of your job hunt - it all matters to those who are watching. And while this just plain stinks, I want to remind you of what all you accomplished before everything shifted. God has not taken His hand off of your life and the impact it has on those around you.
Remind and comfort yourself with a familiar piece of Scripture:
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” Psalm 121
In his commentary on this psalm, Charles Spurgeon wrote “Our hope is in Jehovah, for our help comes from him. Help is on the road, and will not fail to reach us in due time, for he who sends it to us was never known to be too late.” The timing and overall weight of this worldwide situation does not feel good, but find rest in the fact that God knows what He’s doing. He is doing good work in your life and in the world, even when it doesn’t feel like it. And the work He’s doing in you directly affects the work He’s doing around you.
You are absolutely allowed to mourn what has been taken from you, just please also remember to praise God for what you’ve already done. Your Kingdom work has not been lost in the chaos of our global situation.
It has been such a deep joy to watch you grow and cheer you on from the sidelines–a role I know will continue in the future, no matter what happens. Thank you, Class of 2020, for the impact you’ve left on campus and the UA BCM and for the good, good work you have ahead of you.
All my love,
Class of 2018