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News -> Pastor's Column Wednesday, May 13, 2015
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"Graduation Tears"

By Pastor Jerry Selleck,
Holton United Methodist Church

Whenever I attend a Graduation ceremony, and those names are called as the graduate steps up to receive the diploma, you have no problem figuring out where the student’s parents and family are sitting. They jump up and down, hoot and holler, take pictures, clap, and make their pride known. And if you look around, you will also see a lot of tears. I know parenting is a most difficult and unpredictable job, and so I wonder: “what is behind all those tears around Graduation?” Let me suggest a few reasons why I think parents and family shed tears at Graduations:

PRIDE & JOY: For seeing a beloved child achieve something remarkable. Whether it’s the student barely scraping by, or the one at the top of the class, getting a diploma tells everyone of their hard work and diligence.

LOSS: Because graduation usually means a child is leaving home. Sure, they may stay for a bit, but there will be distant colleges to attend and jobs to start. Tears mean an empty bedroom and a new stillness in the house.

FEAR: Because leaving home means the ‘apron strings’ are severed, and parenting moves from hands-on to hands-letting- go. We will no longer be sure where they are, or when they’ll be coming through the back door. They move out into ‘the world,’ and the world can be a scary place.

RELIEF: Because of all those years of sacrifice, hard work, tough love, and sleepless nights are coming to an end. Raising kids into young adults is a serious job, and some of us are relieved to have gotten through it alive!

HOPE: Deep down there is a belief that in spite of all our fears and loss, our child will never walk alone. There is a God who seeks to bless and guide them, even through the darkest of times.

And so for now you release them, and shed some tears, knowing that your tears may cease, but your prayers for them never will.

My wife and I have raised 5 into adulthood, and our prayers are with you. May your tears flow freely, and may God bless you and your Graduate.






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