I've been a woman on a mission today. Family starts showing up for graduation tomorrow and, amongst a hundred other things that need to be done, the bathrooms need to be cleaned.
Currently I'm somewhere between finishing the bathroom floors and mopping the kitchen. I've scrubbed the base of the floor by the kitchen cabinets with Bounce fabric sheets. Those things smell good and have just the right amount of grit to clean stubborn parts of the tile.
I tell you about that shadowed place I tended to under the cabinets because otherwise you probably wouldn't know the work they required. And just maybe you too find yourself, every once in a while, catching a glimpse of your own messy, hard-to-reach places, surprised.
Our oldest daughter graduates on Thursday (but you probably already know that, given my picture posting and other ways of chronic announcement.) What you may not know are details of some tough chapters through her school years and difficult life tests, pre-diploma. Our letter board on the hutch in my living room boasts:
"Yay Hallie. You did it!"
There's a depth to those words that stretches past grades or cap and gown. She'll walk across that stage after having walked through a fire or two without the world having smelled smoke. Her transcript won't show that.
I suspect that most students (and their parents) celebrate not only a graduation, but the fact that tigers have been fought while battling long division in elementary or Anatomy and Physiology in high school.
There's a story underneath each cap and gown. All we know is that each story is at a page turn. Oh, but what's on the pages. That's what we parents are shedding a hot mess of tears over.
"We're making it," I started to tell a fellow mom today. The truth is we're more than making it. With God's help, our children have overcome a passel of private struggles. And thus they're stronger and outfitted with the proof that God goes with them and before them.
It's bittersweet, but we'll call this a victory.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.