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Every Time I Remember

Jun 28, 2023 | Lisa Halleland, US Music Teacher

Class of 2023,

If you have known me for any amount of time you will know that I can tend to be a bit forgetful. I forget where I have put my phone, I forget where I have put my water bottle, I forget to turn the dryer on with a load of clean, wet clothes in it, I forget if I’ve told you something already, and if I don’t have it in writing or if there isn’t an alarm to remind me of what I need to do, I probably will forget. I am grateful when that alarm goes off to not only remind me what I was supposed to be doing, but also to let me know where my phone is! Though even in my most forgetful days, I am capable of remembering. 

I am grateful that when Scripture gives us a charge to remember, it is calling us to bring things to mind and to reflect. To reflect on what the Lord has done; to remember who our God is, and it reminds us to hold fast to the Truth that He has given us. The word “remember” in its various Greek and Hebrew forms occurs over 250 times in Scripture, calling the Israelites, the Psalmists, the disciples, and we His followers to remember. So now, I take the time to remember what God has done during your years here at Westside Christian Academy, class of 2023. I am filled with thankfulness and joy and my eyes are pointed to Him, every time I remember. 

Philippians 1:3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 

Although I did not have the honor of knowing all of you on your arrival at WCA, I am eternally grateful for the few years that I have been blessed to be a part of your lives. I thank God every time I remember a group of 6th grade boys, still unsure of their changing voices, making their debut singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. I thank God every time I remember you all in 8th grade, while I tried desperately to motivate you ALL to sing because God calls us to sing. I thank God every time I remember watching a barbershop quartet evolve: finding any free moment in the full school day to rehearse; being up for any of our silly singing performances; then inspiring the younger students, through “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, to not fear singing in whatever range you’re capable of. I thank God every time I remember a group of young men as they poured out their hearts, minds and talents to create an Epic Musical. I thank God every time I remember sweet discussions about performances, and worship, and the roles music should play in our school and chapels. I thank God every time I remember conversations about the gifts God has given you and praying that you would grow and use them to bless our school. I thank God every time I remember you wanting to be challenged and asking for new avenues to grow. I thank God every time I remember the deep conversations about life, your relationships with the Lord, and what it means to live a life of worship. I thank God every time I remember the ways that you held fast to the Truth and remained steadfast even when those around you may have disagreed. I thank God every time I remember how you graciously handled situations and how you humbly served. And I thank God every time I remember the constant laughter, humor, silliness, and love that you all brought to the hallways and classrooms of this amazing school. 

Philippians 1:4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…

Every time I remember the incredible personalities and unique giftings that God has given each of you, my heart is overwhelmed with joy. I pray that these giftings will carry on in these years to come, teaching and impacting the lives of those around you. 

Haylee, I pray with joy that you would continue to compassionately and passionately love those around you, sharing your honest, pure and beautiful heart, beautiful smile, and beautiful voice with the world. Casey, I pray with joy that you would continue to lead those around you with humility and boldness, showing them God’s glorious beauty through the offering and creation of the music within you. I pray with joy, Leeland, that you would continue to bring joy to those around you with your humor, your passions, and your love for others, standing up for what is right, even if no one goes with you. I pray with joy, Owen, that you would continue to live a life of dedication and excellence, seeing the prize ahead and running (or swimming) hard after it. Seth, I pray with joy that you would continue to ponder and discuss the world around you, sharing the amazing mind and thoughts that God has given you. Robby, I pray with joy that you would continue to bring enthusiasm and joy to every person that you encounter, helping us all feel more comfortable and cared for. I pray with joy, Emma K., that you would continue to bless the world with your grace, love, patience, and kindness, putting the needs of others above your own. Gio, I pray with joy that you would continue to be an instrument of peace and calm to those in need, exemplifying what it looks like to love Jesus and love the world around you through your actions and through your trust in Him. I pray with joy, Allie, that you would continue to see the needs of the world around you, caring deeply and being there in a tangible way. May you be that friend that others need in their lives. Mihai, I pray with joy that you would continue to unwaveringly hold fast to what is True, blessing the world with your creativity and imagination, seeing the world through His lens. Kyler, I pray with joy that you continue to impact the world with your impeccable humor, insight, attention to detail, your hard work, and your brilliance, revealing what God has done in and through you. I pray with joy, Alex, that you would continue to use your voice to speak truth to a hurting world, remaining steadfast and full of the peace that only He can bring. I pray with joy, Nate, that you would continue to dream and ponder the possibilities and meanings of life, trusting in your faithful Savior to guide and strengthen you with all that you need. Isabel, I pray with joy that you would continue to honestly and openly communicate with your brothers and sisters in Christ while sharing with the world the beauty, creativity, and wisdom that He has placed inside of you. Emma Z., I pray with joy that you would continue to faithfully proclaim His Truth to your peers and to the generations to come, knowing that He has equipped you, carried you, and is molding you into exactly who He wants you to be. And to all of you, I pray with joy as Paul did in Philippians 1, “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

As you graduate from this wonderful school that you have called home for so many years, and as you embark upon new journeys, new challenges, new relationships, and the many unknowns that are yet to be revealed, may you often take the time to remember. Remember your foundation of Truth—the word of God that is alive and active. In a world that waivers, may you stand firmly upon God’s Truth, letting it guide, convict, teach, and encourage you. Remember His Goodness—the love that He has for you, the way that He has saved you, the ways that He has been faithful, the ways that He has protected you, and the ways that He has drawn you closer to Himself. Remember the Beauty—the beautiful music that you have enjoyed and made together, the beautiful art, writings, and conversations that you have created, and the beautiful relationships that have been cultivated. 

You have impacted us all. We will never be the same and we will always thank God every time we remember you. Now, class of 2023, may you continue to point the world to Jesus, and every time you remember, thank and glorify your Lord and King for all that He has done.