Sunday evening was one of those "monumental moments" for our youth, and for us "old people"...the counselors.
We were blessed to attend our yearly senior banquet which honors our graduating seniors--this year's theme was a "cruise" down memory lane...hats, streamers, noise makers, confetti, mouse ears, stand-up cutout props, balloons, and food, food, food.
The longer I sat...watching the juniors host the event, taking in all the festivities, it was the pictures that took me back:
...remembering the little ones I had diapered
...clapping hands as we sang "Here is the church, here is the steeple..."
...picking up Easter eggs in the tall, green grass at campground
...gathering tons of cans for our local co-operative ministry
...carrying 5-gallon thermos coolers filled with lemonade
...working on the clients' homes (painting, raking, repairing) each summer
...standing on the pews in the arbor as we sang praise songs
...hugging one another as tears of conviction were wept at the altar
...smiling for the cameras during fun, lessons, service projects, anytime!
These soon-to-be adults have been wrestling with life's realities for the last two years...since one of their classmates, Thomas, was killed in an inter-state highway accident.
As we sat viewing slides, letters from their parents were being read, and the graduating seniors were whispering their reactions to one another. That's when I got this shot...I LOVE the silhouette effect, and I love the kids more.
Each memory declaring itself a treasured piece of their past--we saw Thomas in many of the slides and our hearts were tugged with the preciousness of those memories...he was back with us--never to be forgotten.
He had lived, loved and laughed with us for 17 years, seventeen "oh-so-short" years.
The kids reminisced and savored each picture while celebrating this crossroad into newness--the unknown waiting for them the other side of graduation.
We loved you Thomas...We will FOREVER love you, Thomas!
We love you Seniors...we will FOREVER love you, seniors!
Bless them daily,
remind them of all the lessons they've been taught
throughout the many years of Sunday School,
worship and UMYF.
Protect their hearts from becoming hardened or lukewarm,
we so want them to continue being in Your presence daily and
have a PASSION for YOU.
May we continue to hold them in our prayers.