noun: commencement; plural noun: commencements
1. a beginning or start. "at the commencement of training"
synonyms: beginning, start, starting point, opening, outset, onset, launch, initiation, inception, birth, dawn, origin;
Well, it's officially over: my commencement, and yes, I made it. Three weeks ago I graduated with my master's degree. That long chapter is finally over. I haven't written since then because I've been pretty burned out on writing. Something about writing three major papers in one week's time had me a bit tired of my computer and, truth be told, I'm a little out of practice for writing a blog having not written one for awhile.
But, I figured it was time to share some thoughts about this whole journey of getting my degree and lessons I've learned along the way.
The other week, when I was looking up the word commencement, I found the following definition. 1. a beginning or start. "at the commencement of training". Seems like a strange definition since it's actually the end of something, namely me getting my master's. But something about it really struck me as fitting when it comes to describing graduation, because in many ways it is the beginning of something.
You see, there were quite a few times on this journey, when I had to convince myself that I was going to get my degree. My last class was tough and, if you recall, I was taking two at once. There were many nights when I had nightmares that I wasn't going to pass my final project. Once I turned it in, it seemed like an eternity waiting to find out if I had, indeed, passed it. It had me so stressed out that I finally decided I needed to take control. I began repeating this mantra to myself, "I can't wait to cross that stage in May and get my diploma." There were plenty of days when I simply didn't believe it was possible, but I kept repeating that phrase. Now, looking back, I don't know why I ever doubted.
But it seems like doubting is the human existence and it's a quality of mine that is really hard to shake. That's because faith is the opposite of doubt. As the Bible puts it, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. See, it's easy to have faith when you have what you want in your grasp. The bigger challenge is having faith before you've actually received what you're hoping for. Having that kind of faith takes guts, and grit, and courage, and it takes a certain amount of trust in the One we can't see.
So maybe the beginning of this next chapter in my life is about having faith. Faith that God is for me. Faith that he crazy loves me. Faith that I'm his child and that nothing can separate me from him. Whatever trials or difficulties you're facing in your life right now, have courage and keep the faith. Take a lesson from my story and remember that faith is about believing even when you can't see. Most importantly, remember that our faith is in a God who doesn't disappoint. In that knowledge, press on and keep the faith.