I get all sentimental around this time of year. It’s graduation time, and while I’m not graduating, I usually know several people who are, and it just gets me thinking.
This year one of my closest friends graduated. She’s going to be the best teacher ever – she just has this spirit to nurture and teach, and she has since I met her. I met her at the beginning of my senior year (almost four years ago … time flies!), and we bonded in home group and life group, over movie nights, soccer games, guy problems, and just life. She’s very different from me, and we balance each other out well – she’s optimistic and idealistic, and I tend to be more pessimistic and cynical. She’s been one of my biggest fans and supporters, and I’m really thankful for her. God knew what I needed.
Yesterday, as a number of us were celebrating Hope and her accomplishments, I got to thinking (as I often do this time of year). If my life had gone according to my plan, I would never have even met Hope. I was supposed to go to UNT in the fall of 2008 and graduate in the spring of 2010. There were a lot of hard, spirit-breaking things that happened that brought me to the decision not to take a year off of school, and I won’t rehash them here. There were many things God did with me during that year and in the season following that made it extremely beneficial for me to have taken that time, as hard as it was.
Most of all, though, if I hadn’t gone through all of that hard stuff, I would never have met Hope. (I wouldn’t have met a number of people that I am so glad to know now!) God used Hope to re-access vision and well, hope in my own life. God used Hope to help me rediscover my heart for romance (which through some of those hard things had gotten buried). God used Hope to offer me understanding in a situation not many other people understood. God redirected my path all those years ago (six of them now) in a very large part to bring Hope into my life. She continues to be a source of vision, brighter thoughts, compassion, support in my life, and I really thank God for her every day.
I know God has great plans for her, and can’t wait to see all that He does in this next season! Love you, Hope!