He looked deep into my eyes before pulling me in close for a hug and kissing me on the forehead. My son, preparing to graduate from high school, now towers over my petite frame. “It’s going to be ok, Mom.”
I smiled, not quite sure who he was trying to reassure—me or him. “I know it is, Son. God has big plans for you and I can’t wait to watch you explore the path He has set before you. And no matter where that is, I’ll always be your biggest cheerleader!”
It’s graduation season, yet depending which side of the tassel you’re on, the emotions and the experience might be a bit different.
This year, my emotions run the gamut. Today marks the anniversary of the day my mother “graduated” from earth to her eternal home in heaven. While they say, “time heals all wounds,” I’d have to disagree. But I believe Jesus does.
I still miss her dearly, even though the pain has lessened. This year I think I may even miss her a bit more, because this year I have a senior ready to graduate from high school. What I would give for his grandmother to have the opportunity to see her first grandson graduate. How special it would be for him to hear her say, “I love you, and I’m proud of you, Dumplin’” as she used to call him.
Yet despite her absence, my senior is excited, ready, but a bit nervous too. As for any graduate, it marks the end of life as he knows it, and the start of the next season, filled with great anticipation but many unknowns.
Even as he prepared, the best advice I could offer was to “pray about it.” I know at times he wanted me to give him more than that, but I want the best for him, not my microscopic plans for him.
“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
As graduation day draws near, I have to wonder, “Have I done enough?”
“Have I done enough to prepare my child? Was I obedient to the call to train him up in the ways he should go so that when he is old he won’t depart from it? Have I given him the wings he needs to responsibly take flight into adulthood?”
And yet, my question isn’t just related to my own child.
As I sat with all the other parents at the recent senior awards ceremony, we took a moment of silence to honor the senior who wasn’t present, and who wouldn’t be present at the graduation ceremony. A life, much like my mother’s, who was cut terribly short.
My mother’s heart grieves for her parents who will not be celebrating, as we will, at the graduation ceremony. They have experienced loss that no parent should have to endure. No more birthday celebrations, no prom, no high school graduation.
And with the premature death of this senior, and my mother, and my spiritual mother two days before her, it brings me back to the temporariness of this life. None of us are guaranteed how many days we will have. Any one of us could “graduate” tomorrow.
If that were the case, would I have done enough with the time God had given me? Did I sow kindness, grace, mercy, and His love?
Did I point others back to His unfailing love by my words and my deeds?
Did I testify to His goodness and faithfulness in my life?
Did I tell others how they, too, could have a saving relationship with my Lord?
Just as my graduate was encouraged to give his best effort until the very end, I want to give God my best until the day He calls me to “graduate” home to be with Him.
Let’s live so that we, too, will be ready to “graduate,” fully completing the job He set before us.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.