Memories #6

Top Ten College Memories: Memory #9

April 19, 2002

When it comes to nostalgia, I’ll admit that I’m a blubbering mess. I hate crying in public, but I express my emotions through my eyes so frequently that it’s hard to avoid. 🙂

That was the case on a spring evening in 2002, one week prior to my college graduation. I was active in Campus Crusade for Christ during my years at Florida State, and we celebrate the graduation of our seniors every spring by hosting a banquet for the entire ministry.

The banquet for this particular year was slightly different from the others I had attended. Instead of church clothes, we went semi-formal. Our staff interns were leaving that semester, as well. We opened the banquet with several ladies performing a dance to “I Can Only Imagine,” and concluded with music and dancing.

But of course the biggest difference in my eyes was that I was graduating. This evening was a celebration of all that had happened in the three years prior – while it was a tear eliciting event, it was also a joyful occassion. The words that my friend Stacy spoke about our friendship were a blessing, but I don’t think I started crying until after I saw tears running down my roommate Alison’s face. We had lived together since our freshman year, and God did a lot in both of our lives during that time.

After all of the seniors had been introduced, we moved into the music and fun portion of the evening. Heather approached me with a gift that Joyce had sent with her. (Joyce was in Minnesota preparing for a mission trip and getting to know her future husband. 😉 ) I read the card included and laughed as I reached the end – “Please ask Heather to hug you right now… pretend those are my arms.” Hebs gave me an authentic Joyce hug, and I laughed through the tears.

(I guess you could say that Joyce and I have developed a habit of missing these events in each other’s lives. It’s funny – though not in a “ha ha” sort of way – how that works out. She missed my senior banquet and I believe my graduation party, I missed her wedding…)

That evening holds memories that won’t quickly be forgotten. I treasure the picture of some of my favorite Crusade guys belting out “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I still dance around a room whenever I hear “I Can Only Imagine.” But most of all, I continue to celebrate the friendships that God continues to use to sharpen me and mold me in His image.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:23-26

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