May could be nick-named the moving-on month. Not only is it when spring is in full force in Tennessee, moving us from the fickle days of April toward the steadier temps of summer, but it is also when a plethora of marriages take place, moving many from the status of single to married. Yet, for many, perhaps the majority of those who experience the moving on of this month, May is the month of graduation.
Mini graduations still mean change.
From the child who finishes kindergarten to the one who prepares to go to middle school or beyond, May signifies an end to what is known. A typical May question is this: “What grade will you be in next year?” Once the reply is given, a follow-up is expected: “Will you have to change schools?”
While you celebrate with the child over the accomplishment of getting through another grade, you can always sense a bit of angst at the thought of transferring to another wing of the building or a new location altogether. Life is like that. We seem to have just settled in, made progress, and even accomplished something when bam—we have to pull up our roots and move. Little do we realize as fifth or sixth graders, that our adjustment to middle school is preparing us for life to come.
When a child is anxious about the future, help them to see that they’re not alone in this struggle and that there will be family and adults to guide them and support them through the transition. What they learn through this will help them with even bigger changes later on in life.
Honoring our high school graduates.
I remember a comment made by someone attending a high school graduation. He was put off by all the fuss people made over the students: “Everyone graduates,” he said. “I don’t see the big deal.” I get that—especially, when people seem to go a bit over the top in their celebrations. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone graduates. Many, in fact, never walk across the stage for one reason or another. Sometimes a child is the first in his family to finish high school. No one wants to deny their loved ones the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment.
At the same time, I prefer the idea of marking a child’s achievement over what we see in most celebrations today. When we commemorate the event, we are honoring not just what the young person has accomplished, but establishing this moment as a turning point in their life. From here, they are moving into adulthood, making decisions for their future based on the values and wisdom instilled in them by parents and teachers. They are saying, “I’ve learned this much, now how much more do I need to learn to achieve new goals?”
Encouraging our college graduates.
For those who are finishing a university degree, the transition and change take a new turn. Education is accomplished—life lies ahead, bringing a feeling of uncertainty. It’s like stepping off of a cliff for some, as now they must move out on their own, no longer surrounded by people their age or the structure of their educational institution. For parents, we go back to the days when we first saw them off to school. We let go once again.
Are you moving on this month? I can give no better advice than to say, “Move on with God.” Parents, are you watching your child move on in some way this month? Pray for your child, be ready to listen when they need you, and let them go where God leads.
While you’re driving around town this month, watching traffic jams near schools or graduation sites, seeing the U-Haul store fill up and then empty, pray for the graduates and the families they represent. May they move on in excellence to the glory of the God who loves them.
Grace and Peace