By Lisa Huddleston
“These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:7)
I recently attended a graduation ceremony that I originally had no plans to attend. My own! After two and a half years, I finally completed my Master of Christian Studies degree from Union University. The reasons I hadn’t planned to walk in the graduation were obvious to me: 1. graduations are long and boring, and 2. I am old, and it seemed silly.
However, my family had other plans. Chuck insisted that yes I was going to walk. The kids said the same, and my mom even jumped on their bandwagon. My oldest son said he had missed all my other graduations, and he really wanted to be at this one. He was willing to drive all the way from Knoxville to Jackson! So what’s a girl to do? I ordered my regalia, we all drove to Jackson on Saturday afternoon, and I found myself lining up in a stuffy gym with a bunch of folks I had never seen before since I had attended classes at a satellite campus.
As I languished in that gym fanning myself with a program, I pouted and watched the other graduates taking group photos and hugging each other. “I was so right. This is ridiculous. I’m here all alone. I feel out of place. I want to go home. Waaaaa!” Yep.
That is until we began the long walk from the gym to the lawn. I’m so glad that my husband captured the moment, because it makes me laugh my head off to watch the video of me smiling and floating across that green carpet. I look as though I have never been happier as I smile and greet people who have no idea who I am. And the odd thing is that I really was happy—even wrapped in black polyester in 90 degree weather! Incredible!
After about 600 people went before me, I finally walked across the stage and received my diploma. Like so many others, the first thing I did upon returning to my seat was to open that puppy up and read my name on that beautiful piece of embossed and signed paper: Lisa Marie Huddleston, Master of Christian Studies.
And all of a sudden, it was real! I really did complete this whole program. I really had reached my goal. Wow!
When my classes ended in March, my routine of driving to school and studying all week had come to an end as well. In no time at all other activities had taken their place, and I had almost forgotten all about my return to academia. Thankfully my sweet Chuck insisted that I ceremonially mark this important time in our lives. He not only encouraged me to walk, but he bought me a special frame to keep my diploma safe and so that I can hang it on the wall of our study right beside his.
They do look pretty good together. However his is a little bigger and says “Doctor” on it. It would look nice to have two that matched a tad better. You know, just for the sake of congruence. Until then, I will treasure this stone of remembrance thankful for the blessing of a supportive and loving family and a God who calls and keeps calling me to bigger and better things.