What do you want your life to look like? Where do you see yourself ten years from now? These are questions that seniors frequently hear. These are questions that may provoke our imaginations and shape the visions for our futures. These are questions that cause us to reflect on the process of becoming the people who we are created to be. Proverbs teaches us that in our “hearts [we] plan [our] course, but the Lord establishes [our] steps.” We have grown and will grow because of the providence of God, whose faithfulness has been evident in all seasons: past, present, and future. This is seen in three ways. Over the years, He has used WCA to pour a firm foundation. At present, He has given us soft, teachable, and grateful hearts. In our futures, our Eternal Father will continue to walk with us in every path of life.
For 2,340 yesterdays, Westside Christian Academy has equipped us for all moments by integrating Truth. It has cultivated within us virtue, confidence, and appreciation for what is good. The truth in Scripture is what separates WCA from others. Our alma mater reminds us that “This instruction, our protection, rises from [God’s] word,” which is taught in our homes, churches, and here in each of our classes. WCA is another home, and within this body of believers, and with the foundational support of our parents, the Lord has protected and guided each one of us.
The teachers and staff members here have taught us how to become virtuous Christian leaders by following the example of Christ. In our alma mater, we sing “Teach us how to love each other, Show us how to lead, With humble grateful hearts, To reach a world in need. This our one ambition at Westside Christian….” The Lord has graciously surrounded us with virtuous Christian leaders, and we ourselves have begun to lead.
Today, May 19, 2023, my classmates and I stand here grateful. The future is scary for some and exciting for others. Today, I speak on behalf of the Class of 2023, grateful for all of our memories together. I am thankful for each of you. Throughout the years, we have experienced difficulties and opportunities. We have grown together and individually. I am blessed to know you and to have spent a significant part of my life with you all.
Though change can be difficult, let us be grateful that WCA has taught and prepared us well. Today, “We give thanks for [God’s] truth, Which [He has] taught through this school.” It is easy to give thanks for the things which we love and enjoy. This place is easy to give thanks for. The past is memorable. We often talk about our fond and even funny memories throughout the years. The present is bittersweet. It’s hard to say goodbye or even “see you later” to a place where love and care are overflowing and many feel at home.
Dear parents, thank you for sending us to Westside Christian Academy. Dear teachers, thank you for your integrity, dedication, leadership, and love. You have all greatly impacted our lives differently. You are a significant part of what makes WCA so special. Because of you, we are equipped for what is next. You have cultivated the spiritual fruit. You have helped us to become part of who we are created to be. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything.
Fifteen of us stand here on the brink of many tomorrows. The future is uncertain. It can be difficult for us to trust that what is next is just as good, or even better. It is hard to imagine and even uncomfortable not knowing all that is to come. There is a time for everything. The beauty of time is what it creates. It creates friendships, experiences, and growth. The Lord has created the past, present, and future for us to enjoy. Life is exciting, scary, beautiful, and even uncomfortable. But, it is a blessing. In all of the uncertainty, we know the one who has ordained our steps. The hymn “Be Still My Soul” says, “in every change, He faithful will remain.” What is to come may be uncertain, but God is not. The person each of us is becoming is oriented by Christ and made to be unique. Let us look to the future with gratefulness, excitement, and confidence, because the Lord and the people here at WCA have guided and educated us well. David reminds us that the Lord’s “goodness and love will follow [us] all the days of [our lives], and [we] will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). We give praise to God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below. Praise Him above the heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
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