By Dr. Shelly Hogan
Hello Senior! The time has finally arrived. After years of classroom lectures, long nights of study, and assignment deadlines, you have almost reached the finish line, you are nearly ready to cross the stage, and you will soon receive your diploma. Your hard work is paying off and you will be celebrating soon.
College years are an important season in anyone’s life. Filled with friendship and love, success, and failure and so much more, it has been a pivotal time in your spiritual journey and personal development. Because of this, it is critical that you take the time to remember, reconcile, and redeem the important parts of your time here before the celebration begins and the confetti starts to fall.
Remember the moments that meant the most
Take time to walk through the places on campus that were special to you. Recall the memories. Reflect on how you felt and who you were with. These are treasures that you will take with you through the rest of your life so mark them in a special way.
Reconcile the moments that made life hard
Along with the amazing memories there were probably hard days and difficult discussions that caused wounds. It is okay, that is the way life is, and we must be willing to accept the good with the bad. However, we do not want to take the pain of those encounters into our next season and so steps need to be taken to reconcile our hearts. Recall those times of trial. Let yourself feel the pain and disappointment and choose to forgive with your whole heart. Be specific, list the actions that marred your heart, and then intentionally choose to release the offender. Once you have done that, thank God for the lesson learned and pray a blessing over the person involved. This may seem hard, but remember the words of Jesus, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28). If you wholeheartedly do this, it will bring healing and joy back into those memories.
Redeem the moments that seemed to be wasted
Regret is an inevitable aspect of life, yet one of the hardest things to live with. Remember that mistakes cannot always be avoided. In fact, they are a part of the human experience. However, if not reconciled they can hinder future plans. Take a moment to reflect on what you wish you would have done and what you wish you could take back. Be open to feeling the disappointment and sorrow and forgive. Though we cannot change the past, through forgiveness and God’s grace, we can change how we feel about it.
In the end, your story is still being written and your future is filled with hope and opportunity. Do not let past regret ruin future promise. Remember and treasure the good times, reconcile yourself to the hard days, let God redeem any moments of regret and take the time to pause and rejoice over the gift of the journey.