For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
It seems like only yesterday that our first grandchild, Virginia Rose, is born.
Her July birthday makes her an extremely young entry into kindergarten this past August. We celebrate her birthday with gifts that will be invaluable during the upcoming school year.
But my heart sinks. Aches immeasurably. And the tears flow.
There goes my little soul-mate and heart-throb. Off to school.
No more Gammie play time during the week. No more random sleepovers. We can only spend time together on weekends and holidays.
Restrictions placed on once-cherished freedoms.
And I can't begin to tell you how much I pray for my dear Virginia in this monumental transition in her life.
Now we come to the end of the school year. Virginia's made it through! The time has come for that all-important graduation from kindergarten, and I am thrilled to be able to attend as my daughter and son-in-law can't make it.
Sitting in a hobbit-friendly chair, surrounded by other expectant parents and grandparents, I eagerly await the program Virginia's class has in store.
I am not disappointed.
First, their teacher, Mrs. L., leads the children in several songs that show off the skills they've learned during the year. I don't think there is anything more wonderful than wee voices raised in song!
Next, it's time to hand out the diplomas. With the strains of Pomp and Circumstance filling the room, Mrs. L., calls each student alphabetically by their first names to receive their certificate of promotion. I figure that Virginia will be the last one called to the front. Yep! I'm right! But it's definitely a moment worth waiting for.
Mrs. L. announces that each child will receive a special award in addition to a diploma. Oh, no! Is this going to be like an 'I-come-in-10th-place-but-i-still-get-a-trophy' event? To my tremendous relief, it isn't! The students are recognized for a positive character trait, which they have exhibited throughout the school year. A trait or strength unique to them.
Again, with Virginia being last, I have much time to wonder what her teacher has observed in my sweet granddaughter that stands out for her.
And I conclude that Mrs. L. has excellent judgment.
The kindergarten class closes out the ceremony with a most hopeful and uplifting song, which I have the wherewithal to actually record on my phone. You can listen and watch here. As the children sing these lyrics - The future looks good to me! I'm ready to go! I'm ready to go! - I can't help but pray that each and every one of these adorable six-year-olds will bless so many as they progress down the road of life.
And that God will fulfill their hopes and unfold for them a future filled with love and grace.
Did someone in your family graduate this spring?
Prayer: Father, because of the love and salvation You have shown us because of the sacrifice of Your Son, Christ Jesus, for our sins, we can face the future boldly and have hope for all our tomorrows. May we ever give thanks to You for Your boundless grace and mercy. In Jesus' name, we pray.