You were scared when you first came the city of College Station, unsure of the decision you made to attend school here. You doubted and fought and pleaded with God. Your vision was clouded by selfish control and expectation. But dear daughter, raise your head and see where you have come.
You have walked every inch of this campus in different seasons of life. This place has seen the worst of you, and the best of you. A community was formed and cultivated here since the day you accepted your offer of attending school. The pavement you have walked on has caught your tears and your joy.
You have gained knowledge that will take you places- knowledge attained far outside of a classroom. With this knowledge, you dreamed to share it with those around you. You cultivated deep friendships that will forever be apart of your life. These friends fought for you, cheered for you, dreamed with you and comforted you.
Though you left your family behind, you were invited in by others. They have brought you into the raw and authentic parts of their family, and in turn you have prayed for them persistently, witnessed their kids grow, and celebrated when a baby was on the way.
You have been fought for and sought after. This city has given you respect and honor. In return, you have humbly obeyed it’s calling to serve and lead.
Over the recent years, your home has moved. From a dorm room, to a shoebox of a room in the sorority house, you fought for unity. You prayed for respect and pleaded for a place to invite others to rest. Transitions allowed you to recognize where your true Home lies.
Your identity was shaken in the beginning, of course. Yet, the Spirit inside of you made Himself known through His people.
You lived in a yellow home that sat on a busy corner in a neighborhood that you dreamt of when you first arrived. This home has held incredible women who dare to do great things. Right outside of this home, you have had plenty of talks on the porch underneath the grand tree. If this tree could talk, I wonder what it would say?
This place was radically used for the Kingdom, dear daughter, please do not forget. But do not fret, this is not your peak. You HAVE to believe that it will only get better from here. The Lord will continue to use you if you let Him. Allow Him to make you useful in His hands. Just look and reflect at what He has done- it has only begun.
Texas A&M University and the people that fill this place, thank you. Thank you for believing in the eighteen year old Courtney that cried in her car in parking garages and did not believe that this was where she needed to be. You have cultivated a love for tradition and respect that I will forever take with me beyond the city limits. Thank you for the family that will forever be by my side. Thank you for the friends that are my fighters for the Kingdom. Thank you for allowing myself to fall in love all over again, even when I thought I did not have it in me. Dearest Aggieland, thank you for this spirit that hums in this place. It is a honor to wear your ring and represent this university.
Dear friends, if you are graduating- take time to reflect. RIGHT NOW, allow yourself to go back to freshman year. Go down the timeline and let yourself go back to those moments. Maybe those moments were tough and you thought you would shove them away forever.
Believe me, I have pridefully taken those dark moments and traded them in for shame. I buried them deep to keep the scary reality away. But I promise you, open up that box that you buried and let FREEDOM come. Walk your campus again and breathe in a little deeper.
As we move forward from this place, let us take what we learned and utilize it in our next endeavor. No, I am not talking about what we learned in school. I am talking about those afternoon walks and dinner dates with friends. I’m talking about bringing that friend sonic after a hard day. Let’s fight to carry these things with us as we leave this place behind.
Here’s to mourning the loss of our current season and entering into the next.