I’ll never forget the day of SJ’s graduation. It really was a dream come true. We had been waiting for that moment for so long. I literally had a countdown on my phone.
She sprang out of bed that morning excited for her last day of school. We walked to the bus stop for her final busride to Ohio Valley Voices.
At home I started decorated for the party that night. I still had the old door up from SJ’s butterfly party and I covered it with photos and mementos from each year SJ was at Ohio Valley Voices. It is really amazing to see how much she grew at that school, both physically from age 2 to 8, and also in her communication. She went from understanding and saying zero words to being able to full-blown TALK. It comes so naturally to the rest of us that it’s easy to take for granted, but I never will. Not after all we’ve been through to get to this point.
As I was decorating I got a text message from Cochlear saying that her new cochlear implants had shipped. This was something we had fought for and had waited months to hear. I was ecstatic. The day just kept getting better and better.
Family and friends started showing up ready to celebrate. J’s parents came all the way from Texas. My family came up from Kentucky. Even one of SJ’s first teachers who moved away to Michigan came to the graduation. Our pastors were there and some of our first Ohio friends came to show support.
SJ did an awesome job on her speech! I cried. Quite a bit actually.
After the graduation our family had refreshments and cake on our patio. I felt like I was floating that day from sun up to sun down.
That would have been enough to have me grinning for weeks but it gets better.
The icing on the cake was that just before the graduation J and I were gifted an overnight stay in Chicago to see a U2 concert and spend time touring the city just the two of us.
I can’t even describe how awesome that trip was for us. All the emotions that I felt that week were the best kind of overwhelming.
My favorite part of the U2 concert was one little line from the song Beautiful Day.
Bono sang “See the bird with a leaf in her mouth. After the flood all the colors came out” and as Bono belts it out, bursts of color light up the arena. Obviously the line is referencing the ark, but it was very symbolic of the everything we were experiencing.
The flood was over and this was our rainbow. Just to put it in perspective, 6 years before that we were in thick of unemployment, pregnancy, living with parents, being on food stamps and SJ couldn’t hear or talk at all. We were in the middle of a flood just barely keeping our heads above water. Fast forward to the day I saw that song performed live, it was almost unreal. J and I were 16 rows away from a live performance by our favorite rock stars and then heading home just in time to watch our shining star SJ give a SPEECH at her graduation. Whoa. This was the rainbow. We were seeing the results of God’s promises kept. He said he would never leave us or forsake us and there were times I doubted him. My faith was like a fleck of dust, it seemed nonexistent unless the light was just right. Thankfully another promise God says is that if you have faith even the size of mustard seed you can say to this mountain to move from here to there and it will. Nothing will be impossible.
I keep on thinking of Ephesians 3:20.
SJ’s graduation was something I had imagined and longed for for so long. Then once the time actually came, everything unfolded exceedingly abundantly better than what I had ever even imagined! I know this story doesn’t end with a neat little bow and they all lived happily ever after. Of course not, but no matter what comes our way we will know that He is always faithful. It’s true, and I want to encourage you with that message as well. No matter how hopeless things might look for you right know God’s promises are true! He is able!
And just a little side note, the day I wrote this I saw a gorgeous rainbow.
Now I’m always going to think of Bono and SJ whenever I see a rainbow. You might laugh. I’m laughing too but what I will be remembering is that God’s promises are true.