As I prayerfully think about what to say on this platform I have been given, I am instantly filled with a mix of emotions and thoughts. Sitting here in reflection and confusion, my heart is heavy and is hurting. I vividly remember hearing from my friends and family about Governor Abbott’s decision to cancel school for the remainder of the year, and I was in disbelief. Despite the fact that we initially were not supposed to go back to school until May 4, I was holding out hope that I would soon be reunited with people I hold so close to my heart, even if that meant only one week of school on campus. But as we know, that isn’t the case. To be completely transparent and honestly vulnerable, it felt like my heart shattered. Everything that senior year “promised” was stripped and taken away from me. I remember being in elementary school watching the “big kids” walk the stage at graduation and couldn’t wait to be like them one day. My whole life feels like it has led up to this moment only to be taken away from my classmates and me. Even more disappointing than potentially not walking the stage, is the idea that I may not see all 52 of my classmates together again. The people in the class of 2020 have made me who I am today and have pushed me to become a steadfast Christ-follower and the potential of never seeing all of them again is saddening.
Through all these emotions that I am still feeling, I felt led to encourage the class of 2020. Allow yourself to grieve. Grieve this time lost from the most special part of your senior year shared with friends, family, and teachers. Give yourself the space to be sad with the thought you won’t put on an MCA uniform again or walk the Upper School halls as a student again. Let yourself feel all of it because you can. As I have said previously, and now more than ever, you have every right to be sad, upset, frustrated, angry, confused, and broken. I know I am. Allow yourself to sit with the Father at his feet and ask him the questions you may have, the emotions you’re feeling, let Him hear all of it because He wants to. Throughout these past couple of days, I feel like I am in shock that this is real because it doesn’t feel real to me. I am constantly brought back to the reality that, maybe our senior year will look different than everyone else’s even though it shouldn’t have to. Class of 2020, I am here with you in these moments. I am feeling what you are feeling, and even though others may not be able to exactly relate to you right now, let them be there for you. The teachers and faculty members care for us so much, and they want to celebrate our senior year just as much as we do. I encourage you to let them be there for you and love you during these difficult times.
Now, my words and thoughts may have been all over the place, but as I process our new reality I struggle to articulate the way I feel. Nevertheless, know that I am sad and heartbroken with you, but there is new-found hope in our Savior. He will make our paths straight and clear the fog in the midst of the chaos. Trust he is sovereign, loving, and kind. I know that is much easier said than done, but take the time to ask God to soften your heart to his will. My prayers are going out to all you fellow classmates, our families, and our beloved teachers.
I want to leave you with some Scripture found in Ecclesiastes 3:4 which talks about the seasons we go through, “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”